Cross-sectional relationship between Haemoglobin concentration and measures of physical and cognitive function in an older rural South African population

Collin F. Payne, Justine I. Davies, F. Xavier Gomez-Olive, Katherine J. Hands, Kathleen Kahn, Lindsay C. Kobayashi, Brent Tipping, Stephen Tollman, Alisha Wade, Miles Witham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
170 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Background Age cohort differences in haemoglobin concentrations and associations with physical and cognitive performance among populations of lower income and middle-income countries have not previously been described. We examined the association between these factors among older men and women in rural South Africa. Methods We analysed cross-sectional data from a population-based study of rural South African men and women aged 40 and over (n=4499), with data drawn from questionnaire responses, a cognitive battery, objective physical function tests and blood tests. Anaemia was defined as a haemoglobin concentration <12 g/dL for women and <13 g/dL for men. We related haemoglobin concentrations to each of age, grip strength, walk speed and a latent cognitive function z-score for men and women separately. We used unadjusted correlations and linear models to adjust for comorbidities and inflammation. Results In total, 1042 (43.0%) women and 833 (40.1%) men were anaemic. Haemoglobin concentrations were inversely correlated with age for men but not for women; in adjusted analyses, haemoglobin was 0.3 g/dL lower per decade older for men (95% CI 0.2 to 0.4 g/dL). In adjusted analyses, haemoglobin concentration was independently associated with grip strength in women (B=0.391, 95% CI 0.177 to 0.605), but this did not reach significance in men (B=0.266, 95% CI-0.019 to 0.552); no associations were observed between haemoglobin levels and walk speed or cognitive score. Conclusions Anaemia was prevalent in this study population of middle-aged and older, rural South African adults, but in contrast to high-income countries, it was not associated with poor physical or cognitive function. Our findings need to be replicated in other populations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)796-802
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Epidemiology and Community Health
Volume72
Issue number9
Early online date21 Apr 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 9 Aug 2018

Keywords

  • Haemoglobin
  • older
  • walk speed
  • grip strength
  • cognitive score
  • rural South Africa
  • ageing
  • chronic di
  • physical function
  • functioning and disability
  • international hlth

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Cross-sectional relationship between Haemoglobin concentration and measures of physical and cognitive function in an older rural South African population'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this