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J Blood Med. 2013 Mar 20;4:11-22. doi: 10.2147/JBM.S29212. Print 2013.

Biomarkers for the differentiation of anemia and their clinical usefulness.

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Nutrition Consultant, Cambridge, UK.


The World Health Organization defines anemia as the point at which the amount of hemoglobin in the circulation falls below World Health Organization cutoffs for specific age and sex groups. Anemia is a worldwide problem of complex etiology and is associated with many factors. The purpose of this review was to describe the biomarkers used to identify the nature of anemia in patients and in the community. The important biomarkers are the automated red cell counts, tests for nutritional deficiencies, hemoglobinopathies, and inflammation. Diseases are important potential initiators of anemia, but biomarkers of specific diseases are not included in this review, only the underlying feature common to all disease - namely, inflammation.


avitaminosis; biological markers; blood cell count; hemoglobinopathies; inflammation; iron deficiency

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