Harvard Health Letter

By the way, doctor: Should I worry about my diabetes leading to Alzheimer's?

Q. I'm an 86-year-old man with type 2 diabetes. I get my eyes checked, eat carefully, and test my blood sugar. I exercise in the gym three times a week and still play tennis once a week. Recently, I read new studies that say type 2 diabetes may be a precursor to Alzheimer's disease. It scared the heck out of me. What do you think?

A. I think you should relax — mentally — but not physically!

On the one hand, diabetes is an important risk factor for atherosclerosis, the inflammatory process that narrows arteries. Atherosclerosis in the arteries of the brain contributes to memory loss and the risk of stroke. So it makes sense that these kinds of problems are more common in people with diabetes.

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