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Geriatr Gerontol Int. 2013 Jul;13(3):519-27. doi: 10.1111/ggi.12017. Epub 2012 Dec 17.

Anemia in elderly patients: new insight into an old disorder.

Author information

1
Department of Internal Medicine, Diabetes and Metabolic Disorders, University Hospital of Strasbourg, Strasbourg, France. emmanuel.andres@chru-strasbourg.fr

Abstract

Anemia is an important healthcare concern among the elderly. In these patients, the anemia is often mild, with a hemoglobin level >10 g/dL. It is usually well tolerated, but might be responsible for several proteiform and/or atypical presenting complaints. In the elderly, anemia is usually of multifactorial origin, including chronic inflammation, chronic kidney disease, nutrient deficiencies and iron deficiency (approximately two-thirds of all cases). The remaining cases are unexplained (unknown etiology). In the elderly, the classic diagnosis of anemia, which is based on the mean corpuscular volume associated with a low hemoglobin level, might not be accurate. A predefined standardized diagnostic procedure should be followed. In the common case of frail elderly patients, all investigations should be carefully considered and invasive examinations undertaken where justified (risk-benefit balance). Nevertheless, most cases of anemia require further investigation and the underlying cause should be identified and treated whenever possible.

KEYWORDS:

anemia; chronic inflammation; chronic renal failure; elderly; iron deficiency; vitamin deficiency

PMID:
23253055
DOI:
10.1111/ggi.12017
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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