Anemia in the Elderly: An Overview

Anemia in the Elderly: An Overview

According to research, anemia in the elderly is a very common ailment, as it occurs in 40% of elderly people. The major signs of anemia are lethargy, weakness, dizziness, pallor, confused consciousness. If the elderly person has it all, most likely he/she has anemia. The disease manifests itself when the hemoglobin and the number of red blood cells decrease in the blood, as a result of which insufficient amount of oxygen enters the tissues and cells of the body. After the age of 65, the risk of anemia increases. In old age, you should monitor your physical condition more closely, donate blood for tests, even if there are no health problems at first glance.

In older people, anemia develops in the same way as in other age groups. In elderly patients, the disease is caused by a lack of iron, vitamin B12 and folic acid in the body. The rate of mortality and other serious deteriorations is high in patients aged 60 years and older. Often the disease is underestimated since there are no clear criteria for its identification. Anemia is set if it is found that hemoglobin is less than 130 g/l in men, less than 120 g/l in non-pregnant and 110 g/l in pregnant women. But these figures in the aging process are not clear, and therefore the disease in the elderly is often hard to identify during its initial stages.

In elderly patients, the rate of mortality increases when the level of hemoglobin goes below 137 g/1 in men and 126 g/l in women. Optimal rates should be 140–170 g/l and 130–150 g/l, respectively.  Anemia in the elderly may also lead to other serious consequences:

The probability of diseases of the heart and blood vessels increases;

Cognitive impairment occurs;

Reduced physical performance and quality of life;

The risk of fractures and falls increases.

If a person is sick with anemia, the period of hospitalization increases, the risk of dying from disorders of the heart and blood vessels increases. The disease can also be an early sign of a malignant tumor that has not yet been identified.

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