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Prevalence of anemia in persons 65 years and older in the United States: evidence for a high rate of unexplained anemia.

Abstract

Clinicians frequently identify anemia in their older patients, but national data on the prevalence and causes of anemia in this population in the United States have been unavailable. Data presented here are from the noninstitutionalized US population assessed in the third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (1988-1994). Anemia was defined by World Health Organization criteria; causes of anemia included iron, folate, and B(12) deficiencies, renal insufficiency, anemia of chronic inflammation (ACI), formerly termed anemia of chronic disease, and unexplained anemia (UA). ACI by definition required normal iron stores with low circulating iron (less than 60 microg/dL). After age 50 years, anemia prevalence rates rose rapidly, to a rate greater than 20% at age 85 and older. Overall, 11.0% of men and 10.2% of women 65 years and older were anemic. Of older persons with anemia, evidence of nutrient deficiency was present in one third, ACI or chronic renal disease or both was present in one third, and UA was present in one third. Most occurrences of anemia were mild; 2.8% of women and 1.6% of men had hemoglobin levels lower than 110 g/L (11 g/dL). Therefore, anemia is common, albeit not severe, in the older population, and a substantial proportion of anemia is of indeterminate cause. The impact of anemia on quality of life, recovery from illness, and functional abilities must be further investigated in older persons.

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  • Authors+Show Affiliations

    ,

    Laboratory of Epidemiology, Demography, and Biometry, National Institute on Aging, 7201 Wisconsin Ave, Rm 3C-309, Bethesda, MD 20815, USA.

    , , ,

    Source

    Blood 104:8 2004 Oct 15 pg 2263-8

    MeSH

    Age Factors
    Aged
    Anemia
    Ethnic Groups
    Female
    Hemoglobins
    Humans
    Male
    Prevalence
    Sex Characteristics
    United States

    Pub Type(s)

    Journal Article

    Language

    eng

    PubMed ID

    15238427

    Citation

    Guralnik, Jack M., et al. "Prevalence of Anemia in Persons 65 Years and Older in the United States: Evidence for a High Rate of Unexplained Anemia." Blood, vol. 104, no. 8, 2004, pp. 2263-8.
    Guralnik JM, Eisenstaedt RS, Ferrucci L, et al. Prevalence of anemia in persons 65 years and older in the United States: evidence for a high rate of unexplained anemia. Blood. 2004;104(8):2263-8.
    Guralnik, J. M., Eisenstaedt, R. S., Ferrucci, L., Klein, H. G., & Woodman, R. C. (2004). Prevalence of anemia in persons 65 years and older in the United States: evidence for a high rate of unexplained anemia. Blood, 104(8), pp. 2263-8.
    Guralnik JM, et al. Prevalence of Anemia in Persons 65 Years and Older in the United States: Evidence for a High Rate of Unexplained Anemia. Blood. 2004 Oct 15;104(8):2263-8. PubMed PMID: 15238427.
    * Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
    TY - JOUR T1 - Prevalence of anemia in persons 65 years and older in the United States: evidence for a high rate of unexplained anemia. AU - Guralnik,Jack M, AU - Eisenstaedt,Richard S, AU - Ferrucci,Luigi, AU - Klein,Harvey G, AU - Woodman,Richard C, Y1 - 2004/07/06/ PY - 2004/7/9/pubmed PY - 2004/12/16/medline PY - 2004/7/9/entrez SP - 2263 EP - 8 JF - Blood JO - Blood VL - 104 IS - 8 N2 - Clinicians frequently identify anemia in their older patients, but national data on the prevalence and causes of anemia in this population in the United States have been unavailable. Data presented here are from the noninstitutionalized US population assessed in the third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (1988-1994). Anemia was defined by World Health Organization criteria; causes of anemia included iron, folate, and B(12) deficiencies, renal insufficiency, anemia of chronic inflammation (ACI), formerly termed anemia of chronic disease, and unexplained anemia (UA). ACI by definition required normal iron stores with low circulating iron (less than 60 microg/dL). After age 50 years, anemia prevalence rates rose rapidly, to a rate greater than 20% at age 85 and older. Overall, 11.0% of men and 10.2% of women 65 years and older were anemic. Of older persons with anemia, evidence of nutrient deficiency was present in one third, ACI or chronic renal disease or both was present in one third, and UA was present in one third. Most occurrences of anemia were mild; 2.8% of women and 1.6% of men had hemoglobin levels lower than 110 g/L (11 g/dL). Therefore, anemia is common, albeit not severe, in the older population, and a substantial proportion of anemia is of indeterminate cause. The impact of anemia on quality of life, recovery from illness, and functional abilities must be further investigated in older persons. SN - 0006-4971 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/15238427/full_citation L2 - http://www.bloodjournal.org/cgi/pmidlookup?view=long&pmid=15238427 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -