oa South African Family Practice - Retrospective analysis of the prevalence and causes of anaemia in hospitalised elderly patients : research

Volume 57, Issue 5
  • ISSN : 2078-6190
  • E-ISSN: 2078-6204



Anaemia is common in the elderly. Little is known regarding anaemia in hospitalised elderly patients in South Africa. A retrospective study determined the prevalence and causes of anaemia in elderly patients hospitalised for acute medical problems.

Patients with anaemia were identified from the computerised database of a geriatric unit. Laboratory tests and clinical information on these patients were reviewed to determine the cause of the anaemia defined according to the WHO criteria (haemoglobin level ≤ 12 g/l for women and ≤ 13 g/l men).
Of 759 consecutive geriatric patients, 236 (31.1%) were anaemic. The majority ( = 150; 63.6%) were female, with a mean age of 82.2 years. The male patients had a mean age of 80.8 years. The mean haemoglobin values were 10.7 g/l and 10.2 g/l for male and female patients, respectively. In 96 (40 7%) patients, the cause of anaemia could not be determined. Of the remaining 140 patients, 25.7% had anaemia of chronic disorders, 24.3% had iron deficiency anaemia and 13.6% had multiple causes.
Approximately one-third of hospitalised elderly patients were anaemic on admission, although many were not adequately investigated. Chronic disorders and iron deficiency were the most common causes of anaemia.

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


Article metrics loading...


This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error