Cardiovascular disease may affect the brains of diabetes patients long before
they realize they have it, U.S. researchers say.
Christina Hugenschmidt of the Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in
Winston-Salem, N.C., analyzed data on 516 people with diabetes. She checked data
on hearts and blood vessels for sub-clinical signs of damage, but with no
noticeable symptoms. Hugenschmidt also examined results of tests that gauge
"People with higher levels of sub-clinical cardiovascular disease had lower
scores on several different kinds of thinking tests," Hugenschmidt said in a
She said the results indicated the effects of diabetes on blood vessels impact
the brain's functioning ability.
"There has been a lot of research looking at the links between type 2 diabetes
and increased risk for dementia, but this is the first study to look
specifically at sub-clinical cardiovascular disease and the role it plays,"
Hugenschmidt said. "Our research shows cardiovascular disease risk caused by
diabetes even before it's at a clinically treatable level might be bad for your
The study was published at the Journal of Diabetes.