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Fasting Glucose & Cognitive Function in Middle Age

Diabetes Care; ePub 2018 Oct 10; Bancks, et al

Higher intraindividual fasting glucose (FG) variability during young adulthood below the threshold of diabetes was associated with worse processing speed, memory, and language fluency in middle adulthood, a new study found. Researchers studied 3,307 CARDIA (Coronary Artery Risk Development Study in Young Adults) participants (aged 18‒30 years; 1985-1986) at baseline and calculated 2 measures of long-term glucose variability: the coefficient of variation about the mean FG (CV-FG) and the absolute difference between successive FG measurements [average real variability (ARV-FG)] before the onset of diabetes over 25 and 30 years of follow-up. Cognitive function was assessed at 25 and 30 years. Among the findings:

  • After multivariable adjustment, 1-SD increment of CV-FG was associated with worse cognitive scores at year 25.
  • Findings were similar between CV-FG with each cognitive test score at year 30 and when an alternative measure of variability (ARV-FG) was used that captured variability in successive FG values.


Bancks MP, Carnethon MR, Jacobs DR Jr, et al. Fasting glucose variability in young adulthood and cognitive function in middle age: The Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) Study. [Published online ahead of print October 10, 2018]. Diabetes Care. doi:10.2337/dc18-1287.