Based on data from the 2011 National Diabetes Fact Sheet, roughly 8.3 percent of the U.S. population has diabetes, according to the American Diabetes Association. As this disease has the potential to lead to several health complications, such as blindness and high blood pressure, it is in individuals’ best interest to take steps that will reduce their risk of developing diabetes.
Recently, researchers from the University of California, San Francisco and the San Francisco VA Medical Center identified another benefit of preventing or delaying the onset of diabetes – a decreased risk of cognitive decline.
Over the course of a nine-year study, the researchers found a connection between diabetes and cognitive decline. Of the 3,069 individuals who participated in the study, those who had more severe cases of diabetes and failed to control their blood sugar levels also experienced the fastest change in cognition.
"Both the duration and the severity of diabetes are very important factors," said Kristine Yaffe, the study’s lead author. "It's another piece of the puzzle in terms of linking diabetes to accelerated cognitive aging."
Due to these findings, individuals who have been diagnosed with diabetes may want to pay attention to the state of their cognitive abilities by taking an IQ test.