The Blood Condition Linked To Dementia

the-blood-condition-linked-to-dementia_300What kind of shape are your red blood cells in? Maybe you better find out. Their condition may be linked to the future health of your brain.

A study at the University of California, San Francisco, shows that if your blood shows signs of anemia, you may have about a 35 percent increased risk of dementia.

“Anemia is common in the elderly and occurs in up to 23 percent of adults ages 65 and older,” notes study author Kristine Yaffe. “The condition has also been linked in studies to an increased risk of early death.”

For the study, 2,552 older adults between the ages of 70-79 were tested for anemia and also underwent memory and thinking tests over 11 years. Of those, 393 had anemia at the start of the study.

“There are several explanations for why anemia may be linked to dementia,” says Yaffe. “For example, anemia may be a marker for poor health in general, or low oxygen levels resulting from anemia may play a role in the connection. Reductions in oxygen to the brain have been shown to reduce memory and thinking abilities and may contribute to damage to neurons.”

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Carl Lowe

By Carl Lowe

has written about health, fitness and nutrition for a wide range of publications including Prevention Magazine, Self Magazine and Time-Life Books. The author of more than a dozen books, he has been gluten-free since 2007.