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Volume 2014, Article ID 932486, 7 pages
Research Article

An Etiologic Profile of Anemia in 405 Geriatric Patients

1Crohn Colitis Center Rhein-Main, 60594 Frankfurt/Main, Germany
2Institute of Nutritional Science, University of Giessen, 35392 Giessen, Germany
3St. Elisabethen Krankenhaus, 60487 Frankfurt/Main, Germany
4Krankenhaus Sachsenhausen, Teaching Hospital of the J. W. von Goethe University Frankfurt/Main, 60594 Frankfurt/Main, Germany
5Vifor Pharma Deutschland GmbH, 81379 Munich, Germany
6Department of Gastroenterology and Nutritional Medicine, Krankenhaus Sachsenhausen, Teaching Hospital of the J. W. von Goethe University Frankfurt/Main, 60594 Frankfurt/Main, Germany

Received 22 November 2013; Accepted 14 January 2014; Published 23 February 2014

Academic Editor: Donald S. Silverberg

Copyright © 2014 Tabea Geisel 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.


Background. Anemia is a common condition in the elderly and a significant risk factor for increased morbidity and mortality, reducing not only functional capacity and mobility but also quality of life. Currently, few data are available regarding anemia in hospitalized geriatric patients. Our retrospective study investigated epidemiology and causes of anemia in 405 hospitalized geriatric patients. Methods. Data analysis was performed using laboratory parameters determined during routine hospital admission procedures (hemoglobin, ferritin, transferrin saturation, C-reactive protein, vitamin B12, folic acid, and creatinine) in addition to medical history and demographics. Results. Anemia affected approximately two-thirds of subjects. Of 386 patients with recorded hemoglobin values, 66.3% were anemic according to WHO criteria, mostly (85.1%) in a mild form. Anemia was primarily due to iron deficiency (65%), frequently due to underlying chronic infection (62.1%), or of mixed etiology involving a combination of chronic disease and iron deficiency, with absolute iron deficiency playing a comparatively minor role. Conclusion. Greater awareness of anemia in the elderly is warranted due to its high prevalence and negative effect on outcomes, hospitalization duration, and mortality. Geriatric patients should be routinely screened for anemia and etiological causes of anemia individually assessed to allow timely initiation of appropriate therapy.