A single episode of low blood sugar severe enough to require prompt medical attention increases a person’s risk of developing dementia in old age, a study in people with diabetes suggests. More than one bout of hypoglycemia seems to heighten the risk even further, researchers report in the April 15 Journal of the American Medical Association.
While chronically high blood sugar is known to increase the risk of dementia and other health problems, less is understood about the long-term effects of periodic low blood sugar, says study coauthor Rachel Whitmer, an epidemiologist at the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research, in Oakland, Calif.
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