Link between low blood glucose and death in people with diabetes and dementia revealed

New research suggests that dangerously low blood sugar has much more serious consequences in people who have both diabetes and dementia.

New Alzheimer's Society funded research being presented at this year’s European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) Annual Meeting in Berlin, Germany (1–5 October) suggests that dangerously low blood sugar (severe hypoglycaemia) has much more serious consequences in people who have both diabetes and dementia than those with diabetes alone.

Dr James Pickett, Head of Research at Alzheimer’s Society, said:

'With no new dementia drugs in 15 years, minimising risk and improving care is key. We know that diabetes can raise the risk of developing dementia, and with both of these illnesses on the rise we urgently need to understand this relationship better. 

'Very low blood sugar levels are clearly dangerous to anyone with diabetes, and this suggests the effects might be even more extreme in people with dementia. The study didn’t show cause and effect but, given the dangers of low blood sugar levels, clearly it should be managed carefully.

'As well as this study, Alzheimer’s Society is currently funding nearly one million pounds worth of research into links between diabetes and dementia.'

The author KM is funded through a clinical training fellowship from Alzheimer’s Society with support from Celesio UK. Neither the funder nor Celesio UK had a role in the design of the study or the interpretation of the findings.

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