Send to

Choose Destination
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

Department of Internal Medicine, Diabetes and Metabolic Disorders, University Hospital of Strasbourg, Strasbourg, France.


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.


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

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center