Type 2 diabetes (T2D) and cognitive impairment are clinical issues characterized by lengthy and often progressive phases of development. A recent study evaluated potential links between the risk factors of metabolic syndrome (MetS) and insulin resistance (IR) to cognitive dysfunction in older postmenopausal women.
Danish researchers assessed data from over 2,000 postmenopausal women enrolled in the Prospective Epidemiological Risk Factor study. They found in women with impaired fasting plasma glucose, their risk for developing cognitive dysfunction was 44% greater as compared to women without impaired glucose levels. Furthermore, the analysis found, in women diagnosed with IR with HOMA-IR thresholds above 2.6 (normal range: 0.5-1.4), there was a 47% increased risk for cognitive dysfunction.
Why is this clinically relevant?
The results from this study indicate that significant number of cognitive impairment in older women may be due to associated dysglycemia very often found in this patient population. As women age, their risks for various cardiometabolic health issues increase along with increasing obesity, disproportionate weight distribution and weight gain. Clinicians may be able to prevent or mitigate some cases of cognitive dysfunction in these patients by appropriate screenings for T2D, MetS and IR as part of routine care along with instruction on nutrition and lifestyle changes.