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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Cognitive Task Performance Is An Early Indicator of Developing Borderline Hemoglobin Concentration in Dieting Women

item Kretsch, Mary
item Fong, Alice
item Johnson, Herman

Submitted to: Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology Conference
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: November 1, 1996
Publication Date: N/A

Technical Abstract: Children with iron deficiency anemia often exhibit diminished cognitive function and psychomotor development. Until now, similar changes have not been observed in adults. This study examined cognitive function in 14 healthy, premenopausal (25-42 years), overweight women (BMI range: 24.6 to 38.6) across a 4-month weight reduction study. Cognitive function and hematological status were measured at baseline; during weeks 5, 10, and 15 of the 50% caloric restriction period; and at the end of post restriction weight maintenance. Computerized cognitive function tests included: Bakan vigilance task (measure of attention span), two finger tapping, simple reaction time, immediate word recall, and a focused attention task. Repeated measures analysis of variance, linear regression, and Pearson's correlation coefficients were calculated using PC-SAS. Baseline hematological parameters were normal for all subjects with hemoglobin concentration (Hb) ranging from 12.4 - 13.6 g/dl. Hb decreased between th study's beginning and end for eight women (mean + SD: -0.60 + 0.28 g/dl) an increased for six women (+0.53 + 0.59 g/dl). End Hb, but not beginning Hb, was positively and significantly correlated with the baseline Bakan score (r=0.73, p<0.005) and mean Bakan score (r=0.72, p<0.005). No other significant correlations between cognitive function and Hb status were found. These results suggest that a low Bakan vigilance score can be predictive of declining Hb in dieting women.

Last Modified: 4/22/2015