A new study by researchers at the University of California San Francisco has found a higher incidence of dementia among seniors with anemia. The long-term study tracked 2,552 adults in their 70s for 11 years and found that participants with anemia were 41% more likely to develop dementia over time. Of the nearly 400 participants who had already been diagnosed with anemia at the beginning of the study, nearly 23% had developed dementia by the end of the study, compared with just 17% of non-anemic participants.
The researchers hypothesized reasons for the link between anemia and dementia. Among them is that anemia could be the result of a diet low in iron and other vitamins, which could lead to brain decline. Poor overall health is also related to both anemia and dementia, and thus could be a link. Additionally, fewer red blood cells in anemic patients mean lower oxygen levels throughout the brain and body, which could eventually contribute to the development of dementia.
The findings of the study are significant, in that they may help the medical community better understand and identify contributing factors to dementia. Preventing the onset of the condition could add several quality years to the lives of seniors.
Always Best Care offers assisted living and in-home care for seniors with dementia and Alzheimer’s. The goal of our professional, caring staff is to keep seniors safe and engaged while allowing them to maintain as much independence as possible. Visit our website or call us toll free for a consultation, today, at 1-855-470-2273.