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Project Description: Type 2 Diabetes (T2D)has consistently been demonstrated to be a risk factor for cognitive decline and dementia. However, within T2D, the relationships of long-term glycemic control with cognitive decline are yet unknown. The aim of the present study was to assess the relationship of long-term trajectories of glycemic control with cognitive performance in cognitively normal elderly with T2D. Subjects (n=835) pertain to a diabetes registry (DR) established in 1998 with an average of 18 HbA1c measurements per subject, permitting identification of distinctive trajectory groups of HbA1c and examining their association with cognitive function in five domains: episodic memory, semantic categorization, attention/working memory, executive function, and overall cognition. Analyses of covariance compared cognitive function among the trajectory groups adjusting for sociodemographic, cardiovascular, diabetes-related covariates and depression. Subjects averaged 72.8 years of age. Six trajectories of HbA1c were identified, characterized by HbA1c level at entry into the DR (Higher/ Lower), and trend over time (Stable/Decreasing/Increasing). Both groups with a trajectory of decreasing HbA1c levels had high HbA1c levels at entry into the DR (9.2%, 10.7%), and high, though decreasing, HbA1c levels over time. They had the worst cognitive performance, particularly in overall cognition (p<0.02) and semantic categorization (p<0.01), followed by that of subjects whose HbA1c at entry into the DR was relatively high (7.2%, 7.8%) and increased over time. Subjects with stable HbA1c over time had the lowest HbA1c levels at entry (6.0%, 6.8%) and performed best in cognitive tests. Glycemic control trajectories, which better reflect chronicity of T2D than a single HbA1c measurement, predict cognitive performance. A trajectory of stable HbA1c levels over time is associated with better cognitive function.
Table 1Characteristics of the sample by HbA1c Trajectory group