Type 2 diabetes linked to worse cognitive performance after
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People with Type 2 diabetes, but not those with prediabetes, had worse cognitive performance three to six months after a stroke than those with normal fasting blood sugar levels, according to new research published today in Stroke, a journal of the American Stroke Association, a division of the American Heart Association.

Researchers combined data from 1,601 stroke patients (average age 66; 63% male; 70% Asian; 26% white; 2.6% African American) who participated in one of seven international studies from six countries. Almost all had clot-caused strokes, and a variety of cognitive functions were assessed between three to six months after the stroke. Patients’ fasting blood sugar levels measured at hospital admission and medical history were used to define Type 2 diabetes and prediabetes.

After adjusting for age, sex and education, researchers found:

-- Compared to patients with normal fasting blood sugar, those with Type 2 diabetes scored significantly lower in different areas of cognitive function, including memory, attention, speed of processing information, language, visual ability to copy or draw shapes or figures or lines, mental flexibility and executive functioning.
-- Patients with prediabetes did not score significantly worse than those with normal blood sugar in any areas of cognitive function.
-- The comparisons remained the same after researchers adjusted for additional factors, including type of stroke, ethnicity, high blood pressure, smoking, previous stroke, abnormal heart rhythm and body mass index.

"We need to ensure that stroke survivors have the mental competency to manage the complex and intertwined tasks to effectively treat Type 2 diabetes, which can include measuring glucose levels multiple times a day, managing glucose monitoring devices, adjusting medication doses, self-administering insulin or other medications, and understanding food labels and portion sizes to adjust what is eaten at each meal or snack,” researchers said.

Source: https://newsroom.heart.org/news/type-2-diabetes-linked-to-worse-cognitive-performance-after-a-stroke-prediabetes-not-linked-but-prevention-needed
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