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Volume 2012, Article ID 646201, 6 pages
Clinical Study

Prevalence of Anaemia and Evaluation of Transferrin Receptor (sTfR) in the Diagnosis of Iron Deficiency in the Hospitalized Elderly Patients: Anaemia Clinical Studies in Chile

1Hematology Unit, Institute of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Universidad Austral de Chile, Bueras 1003 CP 5090000 Valdivia, Chile
2Institute of Public Health, Faculty of Medicine, Universidad Austral de Chile, Valdivia, Chile

Received 24 October 2011; Revised 7 February 2012; Accepted 29 February 2012

Academic Editor: Lodovico Balducci

Copyright © 2012 Mauricio López-Sierra et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Iron constitutes the most prevalent nutritional deficiency worldwide. In Chile, anaemia epidemiological data is scarce, evaluating mainly children and women. Our objective was to determine prevalence of anaemia in an inpatient elderly population (≥60 years) and assess the usefulness of sTfR levels analyzed by other authors as a good predictor in the differential diagnosis of iron deficiency anaemia and anaemia of chronic disease. Method. We studied medical patients admitted at Hospital of Valdivia (HV), Chile, in a 2month period. World Health Organization criteria were used for anaemia. Results. 391 patients were hospitalized, average age 62.5 years, 247 elderly and 99 of which had anaemia. Anaemia was normocytic in 88.8%, and we observed: low serum iron in 46.3%, low ferritin 10.1%, high TIBC 2%, low % transferrin saturation (Tsat) 40%, and high sTfR 25%. Conclusions. As a first figure known in Chile, the prevalence of anaemia in the elderly inpatient was 40.1%. Our findings encourage us to promote the implementation of sTfR determination in the clinical setting to analyze the state of erythropoiesis in patients with chronic diseases wich commonly occurs in elderly.