What's Causing Memory Loss?

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Story Updated: Aug 2, 2013

Anemia is common in adults 65 and older, and has been linked to early death. Now it's also being linked to a higher risk of dementia.

In a new study, more than 25-hundred seniors, ages 70 to 79 were checked for anemia...then put through a series of thinking tests for more than a decade.

393 of the participants had anemia at the start of the study. By the end, 23% of them had developed dementia compared to just 17 percent of the people who did not have anemia.

Drilling deeper, the data showed that people who had anemia at the start had a nearly 41 percent higher risk of developing dementia than those who did not.

Anemia is when your blood has a lower than normal number of red blood cells, affecting delivery of oxygen to your body and brain. The researchers say this could have an impact on memory and thinking.

I'm Dr. Cindy Haines of HealthDay TV with the news doctors are reading health news that matters to you.

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The UHS Sports Medicine Program specializes in diagnosing and treating orthopedic and sports-related injuries, providing care on an outpatient basis. The program combines the expertise of certified athletic trainers and physical therapists, who work closely with sports medicine physicians on our medical staff to help patients resume their physical activities as soon as possible.