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J Am Geriatr Soc. 2006 Sep;54(9):1429-35.

Association between mild anemia and executive function impairment in community-dwelling older women: The Women's Health and Aging Study II.

Author information

1
Center on Aging and Health and Department of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland 21205, USA. pchaves@jhsph.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To evaluate the relationship between mild anemia and executive function in community-dwelling older women.

DESIGN:

Cross-sectional.

SETTING:

Community-based.

PARTICIPANTS:

High-functioning subjects participating in the baseline assessment of the Women's Health and Aging Study (WHAS) II, Baltimore, Maryland, 1994 to 1996. WHAS II eligibility criteria included aged 70 to 80, a Mini-Mental State Examination score of 24 or greater, and absence of advanced disability (difficulty in no more than 1 domain of physical function). Included in this study were 364 subjects with a hemoglobin concentration 10 g/dL or greater and known executive function status.

MEASUREMENTS:

Trail Making Test (TMT) Parts B and A. Tertiles of time to complete each test were used to define best (bottom), intermediate, and worst (top) performance. Tertiles of the difference TMT-B minus TMT-A were calculated. Anemia defined as hemoglobin concentration less than 12 g/dL.

RESULTS:

The percentage of subjects in the worst TMT-B, TMT-A, and TMT-B minus TMT-A performance tertile was highest for those with anemia. Prevalent anemia substantially increased the likelihood of performing worst (as opposed to best) on the TMT-B (odds ratio (OR) = 5.2, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.3-20.5), TMT-A (OR = 4.8, 95% CI = 1.5-15.6), and TMT-B minus TMT-A (OR = 4.2, 95% CI = 1.0-17.2), even after controlling for age, education, race, prevalent diseases, and relevant physiological and functional parameters.

CONCLUSION:

This study provides preliminary evidence in support of the hypothesis that mild anemia might be an independent risk factor for executive function impairment in community-dwelling older adults. Whether such an association is causal or noncausal remains to be determined.

PMID:
16970654
PMCID:
PMC2668150
DOI:
10.1111/j.1532-5415.2006.00863.x
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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