A recent study has reportedly concluded that “higher glucose levels may be a risk factor for dementia, even among persons without diabetes.” Paul Crane, et al., “Glucose Levels and Risk of Dementia,” New England Journal of Medicine, August 2013. Relying on data from 2,067 men and women enrolled in the Adult Changes in Thought study, researchers apparently used 35,264 clinical measurements of glucose levels and 10,208 measurements of glycated hemoglobin levels in tracking the development of dementia in 524 participants during a median follow-up of 6.8 years.

The results evidently suggested that among participants without diabetes, “higher average glucose levels within the preceding 5 years were related to an increase risk of dementia.” In particular, the study’s authors found that for those without diabetes, “risk for dementia was 18 percent higher for people with an average glucose level of 115 milligrams per deciliter compared to those with an average glucose level of 100 mg/dl.” They also noted that in people with diabetes, “dementia risk was 40 percent higher for people with an average glucose level of 190 mg/dl compared to those with an average glucose level of 160 mg/dl.”

“The most interesting finding was that every incrementally higher glucose level was associated with a higher risk of dementia in people who did not have diabetes,” the study’s lead author said in an August 7, 2013, press release issued by the University of Washington–Group Health. “There was no threshold value for lower glucose values where risk leveled off.”