Abstract 13365: Fasting Glucose Positively Predicts Word Memory Performance in Older Men
Background: Higher glucose, in the prediabetic range, is viewed as health-adverse. However, glucose is a pivotal substrate for energy production. Mitochondrial function (so, cell energy) declines exponentially with age. Some evidence suggests glucose rise may be in part adaptive, preserving cell energy and function. Glucose is particularly important to brain function: Though ~2% of body weight, the brain uses ~50% of the glucose.
Goal: To assess the cross-sectional relation of serum glucose to word memory performance in older adults.
Method: 726 adults (432 male) age >50 were the over-50 screenees for a broadly sampling statin trial. Participants had no diagnosed diabetes, CVD or cancer, fasting glucose ≤142mg/dL, and LDL 115-190mg/dL. Word memory was assessed by “Recurrent words” test (RecWd): In a series of presented words, subjects designated if the word on a card was new or presented previously, scoring #correct responses. Regression assessed prediction of RecWd by fasting serum glucose, in a range of adjustment models (Table). Covariates assessed included age, sex, diet-variables linked in this sample to RecWd, exercise, mood, and metabolic factors (Table legend).
Result: Mean RecWd was 86±7.5 (85±7.6 in men). Higher fasting glucose predicted better RecWd performance in this over-50 sample, driven by findings in men. In men, each 7.7mg/dL higher glucose was linked to an expected one more word correctly designated (fully adjusted model). No other predictor approached similar significance.
Discussion: Prior evidence linked glucose rise in older age to protection against fatigue. These findings add to evidence suggesting glucose rise as age advances may serve adaptive functions - here, linked to better memory performance.
Conclusion: Higher fasting glucose, in the assessed range (<142mg/dL) is linked to better word memory performance in older men.
Author Disclosures: B.A. Golomb: None. A.K. Bui: None.
- © 2014 by American Heart Association, Inc.