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Sun 1 Oct 2006 12:00 AM

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Anaemia linked to dementia

Mild anaemia may be linked to a greater likelihood of executive function impairment in community-dwelling older women.

Researchers from the John Hopkins Centre on Aging and Health surveyed 364 patients, aged between 70 to 80 years, with a hemoglobin concentration of 10 g/dL or greater and known executive function status.

Patients were asked to undergo performance tests, and were rated on the time they required to complete them.

The team found that the percentage of subjects with poor scores was highest for those with anaemia.

Prevalent anaemia substantially increased the likelihood of performing worst, even allowing for age, education, race, prevalent diseases, and relevant physiological and functional parameters.

“If this association is causal, this could offer an opportunity for preventing executively mediated functional decline through correction of anaemia,” the researchers conclude.

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