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Anemia (when the body does not have enough red blood cells to carry oxygen throughout the body) is a condition is very common in the elderly - actually, 23 percent of adults 65 and older report having anemia. Several conditions, such as kidney disease and nutrition deficiencies, have been linked to anemia – could dementia be added to the list?
A recent study found that people in their 70’s who are living with anemia may have an increased risk of developing dementia later in life.
Dr. Kristina Yaffe from the University of California, San Francisco and her team of researchers tested 2,552 men and women for just over a decade. Each of the participants were between the ages of 70 and 79 at the beginning of the study period, and every person was tested for anemia early in the study and given memory and thinking tests over a total of 11 years. This study found that those who have anemia were 40-50% more likely to develop dementia.
Although, this study only suggests that anemia is directly linked to dementia, there are many risks that are associated with dementia and studies just like this are very useful in clarifying those factors.
Low iron levels are a result of poor nutrition, medical disorders or cancer and have been linked to heart problems in older people. Be sure you are getting the right amounts of vitamins and minerals you need – find the iron supplement that’s right for you!