Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Eur J Clin Nutr. 1996 Jul;50 Suppl 2:S16-24.

Longitudinal changes in iron and protein status of elderly Europeans. SENECA Investigators.

Author information

  • 1Groupe Hosp. Charles Foix, Ivry sur Seine, France.



Describe the iron and protein status of European elderly people studied in 1993, together with changes observed in the previous four years.


Two optional designs: (1) A transversal study from a randomly selected group of female and male elderly subjects born between 1913 and 1914. (2) A longitudinal study including base-line measurements in 1988/1989 in subjects born in 1913-1918, which were repeated and extended in 1993.


Nineteen towns in 12 European countries participated in the baseline study in 1988/ 1989. Eleven centres in nine countries completed the follow-up study in 1993, and two new towns joined in 1993. The study included blood sampling for analysis of markers of nutritional status.


The mean haemoglobin (Hb) values during the follow-up study for the different town populations ranged from 142 to 159 g/l for men and from 129 to 146 g/l for women. Prevalences of anaemia, based on WHO criteria (Hb < 130 g/l for men, and Hb < 120 g/l for women), amounted to 6.0% and 5.0% for men and women, respectively, and were very close to the baseline prevalences of 5.6% and 5.5%. A small decrease in Hb was observed after 4y in men. The mean haematocrit (Hct) values for the different towns ranged from 42% to 48% in men and from 39% to 44% in women. For both sexes, a decrease in Hct was observed. White blood cell (WBC) counts and differentials were measured in the follow-up study only. Mean WBC counts ranged from 5.8 x 10(3)/microliter to 7.1 x 10(3)/microliter in men and from 5.6 x 10(3)/microliter to 6.7 x 10(3)/microliter in women. Mean lymphocyte counts ranged from 1.6 x 10(3)/microliter to 2.4 x 10(3)/microliter in men and from 1.7 x 10(3)/microliter to 2.3 x 10(3)/microliter in women and mean neutrophile counts ranged from 3.4 x 10(3)/microliter to 4.4 x 10(3)/microliter and from 3.1 x 10(3)/microliter to 4.0 x 10(3)/microliter, respectively. The mean serum albumin values for the different towns varied from 39.9 g/l to 43.2 g/l for men, and from 39.3 g/l to 42.4 g/l for women, quite similar to the baseline study. In 25 subjects (2.2%) only serum albumin level was below 35 g/l and five subjects (0.4%) had a serum albumin level below 30 g/l. No albumin changes were detected for either sex over the four year period. The group of survivors in the follow-up study had higher mean albumin concentrations at baseline than the group of subjects who had died between the baseline and the follow-up study.


In this population of elderly subjects in their seventies, Hb, Hct and albumin showed little change over the 4 year follow-up period. The prevalence of anaemia and low serum albumin values was relatively low, which is indicative of a relatively good health.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk