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Study of morphological and etiological spectrum of anemia in elderly in a tertiary care centre of North India

Author: 
P. S. Ghalaut, Mohini, Isha Pahuja, Naresh Gaur, Arvind Chahal and Suvrit Jain
Subject Area: 
Health Sciences
Abstract: 

Anemia in the elderly patients is an extremely common problem that can be associated with mortality and impair the quality of life. Since anemia is a sign and not a diagnosis, therefore an evaluation is almost always warranted to identify its cause. (Bhasin and Rao, 2011) In our prospective study we investigated about the morphological type and the etiological spectrum of anemia in 100 patients with age 60 years and above. Hb< 12gm/dl (in females) and Hb<13gm/dl (in males) {acc to WHO Criteria} (World Health Organization, 2010) were the cut off value for anemia. The study population consisted of 66 male patients and 34 female patients with generalized weakness and easy fatigability as the most common symptom which was present in 100% of cases. The most common cause of anemia in elderly patients is anemia due to chronic kidney disease (35%) followed by iron deficiency (20%) than malignancy (15%), vitamin B12 and folic acid deficiency (14%), anemia of chronic inflammation (11%) and in 5% others including unexplained anemia. Overall the hematological causes were 50% and non-hematological causes were 46%. Normocytic normochromic (53%) anemia was the most common morphological type; was followed by microcytic hypochromic 30%) and then macrocytic as least common (17%). In geriatric age group hematological and non hematological causes were almost equal in our study that is comparable to other Indian studies and some western studies but the pattern vary from study to study indicates geographical variation in spectrum of etiology of anemia in elderly.

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