Anemia means having a red blood cell count that is lower than normal and its very common in older adults about 10 of independently living people over age 65 have anemia and anemia becomes even more common as people get older but many older adults and families hardly understand anemia. The most common causes of anemia in the elderly are chronic disease and iron deficiency vitamin b 12 deficiency folate deficiency gastrointestinal bleeding and myelodysplastic syndrome are among. Causes of anemia in older adults include nutritional deficiency chronic kidney disease chronic inflammation and occult blood loss from gastrointestinal malignancy although in many patients the. In elderly patients in whom anemia has a high prevalence 10 neither the hemoglobin threshold for concern nor the identity of the anemia causing disease is easily established this is an important shortfall because even mild anemia can compromise patients well being and survival regardless of the underlying cause
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