A new study has found that the midlife diabetes, which is often regarded as a ‘sweet killer’, accelerates the process of aging by about five years than those without the disease.
The study was conducted by the scientists at Johns Hopkins University.
For the study, the researchers gathered data from the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study (ARIC) and involved about 15,800 middle-aged adults in the United States.
Then the research group evaluated the participants’ cognitive function during three of the five periodic visits during the study period. The study began in 1987 and ended in 2013.
The amount of cognitive decline linked with aging was compared to the amount observed in the study participants for the mentioned sessions. The researchers found a 19 percent rise in the mental decline among those participants having badly controlled diabetes, while those with controlled diabetes and pre-diabetes suffered smaller declines in mental capabilities.
According to the researchers, it is the longest study that has followed a cross-section of adults as they age.
Study lead author Elizabeth Selvin said, “There is a substantial cognitive decline associated with diabetes, pre-diabetes and poor glucose control in people with diabetes. The lesson to learn is that for a healthy brain you need to eat right when you’re 70 and exercise when you’re 50. ”
Selvin is an associate professor of epidemiology at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
Diabetes, often referred as silent killer, is caused due to lack of insulin. This further leads to elevated levels of sugar in the blood, which adversely impacts the vascular system of the body and also causes nerve damage, blindness and kidney disease.
The study was published in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine.