A project aimed at studying the frequency of dementia and depression in the catchment area of the Health Centre of Chrissoupolis (HCCh), Northern Greece, was carried out. This paper reports the association between AD and anemia among the elderly participants in this Greek study.
Eligible participants were people 65 years or over who were (a) living in the Elderly People's Home (all 48 subjects included); (b) visiting the Open Center for Elderly People during a 20 workday period (75 subjects) and (c) visiting the HCCh for routine medical care. The Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE) was used in assessing the cognitive capacity of the participants. Blood was drawn for serum hematocrit, vitamin B12 and folate determination.
The prevalence proportions of possible cognitive impairment among anemic and non-anemic males were 55.6% and 34.4%, respectively (X 2 = 5.8, d.f. = 1, p = 0.016). The corresponding proportions in females were 47.5% and 40.1 % (X 2 = 1.1, d.f. = 1, p = 0.305). Using logistic regression analysis, age-group (≥ 80 yrs), type of Institute, vitamin B 12 and anemia had significant independent associations with possible cognitive impairment.
Anemia is a frequent finding in elderly and it may be a risk factor for dementia, but the extent of the associated deterioration of cognitive impairment or the relation with AD is not known. GPs should be aware of this coexistence and recommend for screening, assaying and treating elderly people.