Insulin Resistance Tied to Signs of Cognitive Decline in Women

Insulin Resistance Tied to Signs of Cognitive Decline in Women
Insulin Resistance Tied to Signs of Cognitive Decline in Women

(HealthDay News) — A higher homeostatic model assessment-insulin resistance index (HOMA-IR) score may be an early marker for an increased risk of cognitive decline in women, according to a study published online Aug. 12 in Diabetologia.

Laura L. Ekblad, M.D., from Turku University in Finland, and colleagues evaluated the effect of insulin resistance and APOE*E4 genotype on cognitive function in a population-based study (5,935 participants, mean age 52.5 years). Insulin resistance was measured using HOMA-IR, while cognitive function was tested by word-list learning, word-list delayed-recall, categorical verbal fluency, and simple and visual-choice reaction-time tests.

The researchers found that higher HOMA-IR was associated with poorer verbal fluency in women (P < 0.0001), but not in men (P = 0.56). In APOE*E4-negative individuals, higher HOMA-IR was associated with poorer verbal fluency (P = 0.0003); this association was not seen in APOE*E4 carriers (P = 0.28). Overall, higher HOMA-IR was associated with a slower simple reaction time (P = 0.02).

"To our knowledge, this is the first comprehensive, population-based study, including both young and middle-aged adults, to report that female sex impacts the association of HOMA-IR with verbal fluency," the authors write.

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