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REVIEW ARTICLE
Year : 2018  |  Volume : 14  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 74-78

Anemia in Elderly: A Review


1 Senior Resident, Department of Medicine, SMS Medical College, JLN Marg, Jaipur- 302004, India
2 Assistant Professor, Geriatric Medicine, SMS Medical College, JLN Marg, Jaipur- 302004, India
3 Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine, SMS Medical College, JLN Marg, Jaipur- 302004, India

Correspondence Address:
Girdhari Lal Dhayal
Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine, SMS Medical College, JLN Marg, Jaipur- 302004
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


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Anemia is common among elderly and is associated with increased morbidity and mortality in this vulnerable age group. Anaemia hampers functional capacity and cognition, increases risk for frequent falls, frailty, dementia, hospitalization, mortality and mobility and ultimately affects the quality of life. Anemia in elderly is divided in three major types: nutritional deficiency, anemia of chronic disease including chronic renal disease and unexplained anemia. A high index of suspicion is required to manage anemia in elders. The symptoms (easy fatigue, decrease appetite, pallor) are usually taken as consequences of advance age. The onset of signs and symptoms are insidious and elders adjust their routine activities to the remaining physical capabilities and physiological adaptations. Anemia may present as worsening of associated disorder like worsening congestive heart failure, cognitive impairment, dizziness and apathy. The evaluation of anemia in elderly involves complete history including dietary, medical illness and medication history and through physical examination to detect any sign suggestive of etiology followed by further investigations accordingly. The treatment of anemia depends on its etiology and severity. In severe anemia, red cell transfusion is required along with treatment of underlying etiology. In unexplained anemia, eryth-ropoietin replacement in higher dose than usual may be needed due to blunted response to erythropoietin. Anabolic steroid supplementation is also beneficial in elderly with anemia.


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