Both low and high levels of haemoglobin linked to increased risk of dementia – Alzheimer’s Society comment

A new study published today has found that having either low or high levels of haemoglobin in your blood may be linked to an increased risk of developing dementia years later.

Haemoglobin is the protein in red blood cells responsible for transporting oxygen. Very low haemoglobin is called anaemia.

The study was published in today’s issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

Dr James Pickett, Head of Research at Alzheimer’s Society, said:

'We have known for some time that anaemia can be associated with an increased dementia risk, but there’s now a reason to believe that high levels of haemoglobin may also be associated with higher risk, even when you take into account factors like smoking, heart disease and an unhealthy diet. Anyone who is concerned about their blood health should speak to their GP.

'More research is needed to look at how much of a direct role haemoglobin levels have on someone’s risk and if there is a meaningful link is between the two.'

'This could lead us to target this relationship with new drug treatments, which could one day prevent dementia and bring us much closer to a cure. Alzheimer’s Society is currently investing over £10 million into understanding the underlying causes of dementia.'