What are the Risks of High Glucose Levels?

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  • Written By: wiseGEEK Writer
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 12 November 2019
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High glucose levels in blood tests are often understood to greatly increase the risk for diabetes. As well, in pregnant women, they show a distinct increase for developing the dangerous condition called pre-eclampsia, which can harm both mother and unborn child. This has been well documented by the medical community, and those who have high levels may undergo dietary modifications or take medication to control these levels. Newer medical research has shown additional risks to the person with high glucose levels.

A 2002 study published in the journal Neurology showed that patients with high glucose levels who had suffered a stroke were at increased risk for suffering another stroke if those levels were not controlled. Death rates after an initial stroke were significantly higher in those patients with high glucose.

In the study, an analysis of a group of over 500 patients showed that 40% of patients suffering their first stroke had high glucose levels. Additional mortality in this group was increased. As well, these patients were more likely to have complications after a stroke, and were likely to have much longer hospital stays following a stroke. The study indicates that reducing glucose levels may also reduce the chance of stroke.


A study published in 2005 in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) found those with high glucose levels to be at increased risk for developing cancer. A higher death rate for all cancers, approximately 29%, was also reported in these patients. As well increased risk of cancer of the pancreas, esophagus, liver, cervix, and colon were shown.

The University of California-San Francisco evaluated women with high glucose levels in regards to risk for development of dementia or mental impairment with aging. Their study, published in 2006, showed a distinct correlation between glucose and dementia in women. In fact, their results suggest that women with high glucose levels increase their chances of developing dementia by up to 40%.

These studies show that regular analysis of blood sugar, and control of high glucose, can significantly help decrease the chances of several very serious conditions. They certainly indicate that people, particularly over the age of 40, should have yearly blood glucose tests to rule out diabetes, and the development of greater risk factors for stroke, cancer, and cognitive impairment.


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Post 4

I am pre diabetic and would like to know if i need to restrict my carb intake? How many carbs for each meal?

Post 3

Mom's blood sugar level is in the upper 300s. I am worried. They are giving her increased levels of insulin to combat it. She is in a nursing home.

Post 2

if you are a diabetic and have a high level of glucose in your blood what does this mean?

Post 1

The most sinister result of high level blood sugar is diabetes. Without a blood test, very often patients don't even know they have high level of glucose in their bloodstream. Diabetes is one of those diseases that does damage to the body in a quiet kind of a hidden way.

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