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J Infect Dis. 2002 May 15;185 Suppl 2:S110-4.

The impact of anemia on quality of life in human immunodeficiency virus-infected patients.

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  • 1Medical Service, University of California, San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center, San Francisco, California 94121, CA.


Anemia is the most commonly encountered hematologic abnormality in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-positive patients, occurring with increasing frequency as the disease progresses. Several factors play a role in the development of anemia in patients with HIV, including chronic disease, opportunistic infections, and certain nutritional deficiencies. Despite the high prevalence of anemia in this population, the symptoms of anemia are frequently overlooked, although anemia can significantly affect a patient's ability to carry on even normal activities of daily living. Therefore, approaches--including the treatment of causative infections, discontinuation of certain drugs, or use of recombinant human erythropoietin (epoetin alfa)--aimed at increasing hemoglobin levels to normal or near-normal levels would be expected to improve quality of life (QOL). The purpose of this article is to describe the effects of anemia on QOL and to provide an overview of several studies showing that QOL improves with the alleviation of anemia.

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