Characteristics of Anemia in Elderly: A Hospital Based Study in South India

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Abstract

Anemia is a common concern in older people and can have significant morbidity and mortality. Because anemia is a sign, not a diagnosis, an evaluation is almost always warranted to identify the underlying cause. The purpose of this study was to study the clinical profile of elderly patients with anemia and to study characteristics of hematological types of anemia in such patients as well as the closest possible etiological profile. Hundred patients above the age of 60 years were included in the study. Clinical profile with laboratory studies of Hemoglobin and diagnostic tests to fix the etiology. Majority of patients had normocytic blood picture. Renal failure was the most common underlying chronic disease. Significant number of patients were on non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs which could contribute to the anaemia. 14% of the patients had an underlying malignancy. 73.3% of the patients in the microcytic group had an underlying GI lesion on endoscopy. Identifying anemia as an important aspect of a comprehensive geriatric assessment is absolutely essential further to clinical detection. Confirming the type of anemia is critical to direct the investigation for profiling the etiology since it is well known that the treatment of anemia goes a long way in improving the overall outcome and quality of life.