First Large-Scale Study on Women in China: Anemia May be Associated with NAD+ Levels

Update:2023-06-28   

Do you know anyone with anemia? According to the World Health Organization (WHO), anemia is defined as a hemoglobin concentration below 120 g/L for adult women (excluding pregnant women) and below 130 g/L for adult men [1]. Anemia is a very common condition, with approximately 1.9 billion people worldwide affected, accounting for nearly one quarter of the global population [2]. It can be considered a global health issue, especially prevalent among women due to factors such as lower blood volume and menstrual cycles.

Many people don't take anemia seriously, thinking it's just a minor problem that doesn't impact overall health. However, research has found that anemia not only increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases and severe complications such as stroke, arrhythmias, and thromboembolism [3,4], but it also accelerates aging [5]. Therefore, it is necessary to treat anemia.

Previous studies have found a close relationship between NAD+ levels and cardiovascular diseases and aging [6,7]. On April 27th, the Clinical Research Institute of the First Affiliated Hospital of Shanghai Jiao Tong University published the first large-scale study on NAD+ in a Chinese population. They clarified the relationship between NAD+ and age, and found that it differs by gender [8]. The research findings have been published in the authoritative journal "Journal of Cellular and Molecular Medicine" in April.

Since NAD+ levels are related to both cardiovascular diseases and anemia, the Chinese researchers redirected their focus to the relationship between NAD+ and anemia. Building upon their previous research on the relationship between NAD+ and age, they further published their team's research findings in the journal "Journal of Cellular and Molecular Medicine". As their previous research revealed gender differences in NAD+ levels, with women being more susceptible to anemia, the researchers selected 727 women from the Jidong Community in Tangshan, Hebei Province, with an average age of 42.7 years, as the study participants. 

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The researchers divided the participants into four groups, based on the average blood NAD+ levels: Q1, Q2, Q3, and Q4, with their average NAD+ levels being <27.6μmol/L, 27.6-31.0μmol/L, 31.0-34.5μmol/L, and ≥34.5μmol/L, respectively.

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Caption: 727 women grouped into four categories based on NAD+ levels.

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Through analysis of these four groups, the researchers found a significant negative correlation between NAD+ levels in women's blood and the occurrence of anemia. The Q1 group, with the lowest NAD+ levels, had a high anemia occurrence rate of 19.7%, which was more than the other three groups combined. On the other hand, the Q4 group, with the highest NAD+ levels, had a much lower anemia occurrence rate of only 2.7%. This means that as NAD+ levels in the body increase, the likelihood of anemia decreases.

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Caption: Prevalence of anemia in four groups with varying NAD+ levels.

The lead researcher of the study concluded in the paper: "This study connects a neglected factor in aging, anemia, with the renowned anti-aging factor NAD+, reminding us to pay attention to anemia when combating aging. As the first large-sample study on NAD+ and anemia association in Chinese women, this study has strong persuasive power and provides greater reference value for future related anti-aging research in China."