Alzheimer’s & Anemia: Is There a Link?
My grandfather and his brother both had Alzheimer’s disease. I’m concerned that it increases my risk for it so I’m always looking for information on potential causes. I heard recently that anemia may be linked to Alzheimer’s. Have you read anything that would indicate that?
Alsyha in Loveland, Colorado
I’m sure you are concerned about developing Alzheimer’s disease. Families that have experienced “the long goodbye” with a loved one know firsthand what a debilitating disease it is. Families and researchers alike are frustrated by how little we still know about what causes Alzheimer’s. What researchers are more confident of is the role genetics plays in early onset Alzheimer’s. The familial link is believed to be attributed to one chromosome in particular.
There have been studies over the past few years that seem to indicate that people who have anemia develop Alzheimer’s disease in greater numbers. An 11-year long study published in Neurology magazine last year investigated the issue. They studied 2,552 people who were dementia free at the beginning of the trial. 392 of them had anemia. Over the course of the study, those who had anemia were 40% more likely to develop Alzheimer’s. That is a fairly significant statistic to ignore so researchers who conducted the study are continuing to explore this potential link.
If you are concerned you are anemic, first talk with your doctor. They can order the bloodwork required to make that diagnosis. Meanwhile, these results give us yet another reason for maintaining a healthy lifestyle. U.S. News & World Report releases a yearly review of the best dietary plans to follow. In case you missed it, they continue to rate adopting the Dash Diet and the Mediterranean Diet very high. Both are rich in nutrients and necessary minerals like iron.
Thanks for following our blog, Alysha! Please keep in touch.