FRIDAY, Jan. 3, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Both recent severe hypoglycemia (SH) and lifetime SH are associated with worse cognition among older adults with type 1 diabetes, according to a study published online Dec. 27 in Diabetes Care.

Mary E. Lacy, Ph.D., from the University of California in San Francisco, and colleagues evaluated the association between SH and cognitive function in 718 older adults (mean age, 67.2 years) with type 1 diabetes participating in the Study of Longevity in Diabetes.

The researchers found that 32 percent of participants reported recent SH and 50 percent reported lifetime SH. Participants with a recent SH history had significantly lower global cognition scores compared with those with no SH. Specifically, significantly lower scores on language, executive function, and episodic memory were associated with recent SH exposure, while significantly lower executive function was associated with lifetime SH exposure. There was an association between recent SH and impaired global cognition (odds ratio, 3.22) and cognitive impairment on the language domain (odds ratio, 3.15).

“These findings suggest a deleterious role of SH on the brain health of older patients with type 1 diabetes and highlight the importance of SH prevention,” the authors write.

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