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Anemia Linked to Dementia Risk in Older Adults
In older adults, anemia may indicate an increased risk of dementia later in life, according to a new study published in Neurology.
Researchers studied data from 2,552 older adults (mean age: 76.1 years) who participated in the Health, Aging, and Body Composition study. A total of 392 subjects (15.4%) had anemia at baseline.
During 11 years of follow-up, 455 participants (17.8%) developed dementia. The investigators noted that the risk of dementia was increased in those with baseline anemia compared with those without anemia (23% vs. 17%, respectively; hazard ratio = 1.64) Adjustments for anemia measures (i.e., mean corpuscular volume and red-cell distribution width), erythropoietin, and C-reactive protein did not appreciably change the results.
The authors suggest that further study of anemia as a risk factor for dementia and as a target for intervention for cognitive health may be warranted.
Source: Neurology; July 31, 2013.