Harvard Heart Letter

Blood sugar on the brain

In people with heart disease,
elevated blood sugar levels might affect thinking and memory.

Image: Thinkstock

High blood sugar may add to mental decline in people with cardiovascular disease.

Years of poorly controlled diabetes has devastating consequences for your heart, blood vessels, kidneys, and eyes. However, subtler blood sugar abnormalities may also harm your thinking and memory power. In a pivotal 2009 study in Diabetes Care, researchers studied people with uncontrolled type 2 diabetes and other risks for cardiovascular disease and found a link between high blood sugar and problems with thinking and memory.

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