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Gerontology. 1979;25(2):113-9.

Prevalence and causes of anemia in elderly hospitalized patients.


The prevalence and causes of anemia have been studied in 104 patients over 60 years of age admitted to a general medical ward in Jerusalem. In males and females, mean hemoglobin levels were about 1 g less than in the corresponding groups of healthy younger controls. A primary nutritional anemia could not be implicated in any of the 15 patients with hemoglobins below 11 g/dl. The most important causes of anemia were chronic renal failure, metastatic carcinoma, gastrointestinal bleeding, and infection. Conversely, in diseases with no adverse effect on erythropoiesis such as chronic ischemic heart disease, hypertension and diabetes, hemoglobin levels were equal to those of the younger controls. These findings indicate that although diminished serum iron and RBC folate levels may occasionally be found in elderly subjects, nutritional deficiency is seldom responsible for anemia in this age group in Israel- and anemia when present is often the manifestation of a chronic underlying disease.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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