Author(s): Guralnik JM, Ershler WB, Schrier SL, Picozzi VJ
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Abstract Over 3 million people in the United States aged 65 years and older are anemic. This condition is associated with significant functional impairment and, perhaps, increased mortality. In March 2004, the American Society of Hematology (in conjunction with the National Institute of Aging) convened a "blue ribbon" panel of twenty physicians who are experts on various aspects of this topic. This paper highlights important consensus concepts resulting from that meeting. In particular, four areas of thought are shared. First, the epidemiology of anemia in the elderly is reviewed, including its definition, its expression in different racial groups, and its wide-ranging manifestations. Second, the pathophysiology of anemia in the elderly is reviewed as pertains to three general etiological categories (nutritional, chronic diseases, and so-called "unexplained" anemias). Particular emphasis is given to pathophysiologic mechanisms of anemia that are potentially unique to this age group. Third, a practical approach to the diagnosis and management of anemia for this patient population for the practicing hematologist is provided. Finally, the public health implications of anemia in the elderly for key stakeholder constituencies will be discussed in the oral presentation.
This article was published in Hematology Am Soc Hematol Educ Program
and referenced in Journal of Gerontology & Geriatric Research