Ewha Med J.  2016 Jul;39(3):69-75. 10.12771/emj.2016.39.3.69.

Anemia in Individuals over Age 80: Unattended Issue in Clinical Practice

  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, Dongguk University Ilsan Hospital, Goyang, Korea. smdkdy@duih.org
  • 2Department of Laboratory Medicine, Dongguk University Ilsan Hospital, Goyang, Korea.


To assess the current state of anemia evaluation in the elderly over 80 years of age.
Patients who were more than 80 years old and visited Dongguk University Ilsan Hospital from April 2005 to February 2014 were included. Statistical analysis were assessed using the logistic regression model.
Total 548 patients, who had anemia according to WHO criteria, were identified. The median age was 85 years old (range, 82 to 99 years) and median hemoglobin level was 11.0 g/dL (range, 2.7 to 12.9 g/dL). Twenty-eight, 468, and 52 patients were classified as microcytic anemia, normocytic anemia, and macrocytic anemia, respectively. Among them, 397 patients (72.4%) did not undergo proper evaluation for the cause anemia i.e., 8 cases (28.5%) of microcytic anemia, 361 cases (77.1%) of normocytic anemia, and the 28 cases (53.84%) of 52 macrocytic anemia patients. The remaining 151 patients (27.6%) had completed the evaluation, and 24 patients (15.9%) were diagnosed as solid malignancies. In the assessment of iron deficiency anemia, hemoglobin levels, and age had no effect on whether or not to perform esophagogastroduodenoscopy.
This finding showed that physicians often neglected anemia in individuals over 80 years of age. Though these patients have limited life expectancy, physicians should carefully discriminate the sub-population who will be benefit from adequate evaluation and treatment.


Anemia; Aged; 80 and over
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