The anemia of the old and oldest-old patients hospitalized in Internal Medicine: a very high rate of anemia of chronic disease and multifactorial anemia

  • Federico Silvestri | silvestrifederico@alice.it Internal Medicine Division, Civil Hospital, Latisana (UD), Italy.
  • Renzo Pozzo Department of Medical and Biological Sciences, University of Udine, Italy.
  • Andrea Barbi Internal Medicine Division, Civil Hospital, Latisana (UD), Italy.
  • Antonella Labombarda Internal Medicine Division, Civil Hospital, Latisana (UD), Italy.
  • Marco Zaramella Internal Medicine Division, Civil Hospital, Latisana (UD), Italy.
  • Igor Bramuzzo Internal Medicine Division, Civil Hospital, Latisana (UD), Italy.
  • Elisa Mansutti Internal Medicine Division, Civil Hospital, Latisana (UD), Italy.
  • Laura Perale Internal Medicine Division, Civil Hospital, Latisana (UD), Italy.
  • Adolfo Rogato Internal Medicine Division, Civil Hospital, Latisana (UD), Italy.
  • Francesca Zanini Internal Medicine Division, Civil Hospital, Latisana (UD), Italy.

Abstract

Anemia is highly prevalent among the elderly, and few previous studies have focused on hospitalized medical patients aged ≥75 years. During the four months of this single-center prospective cohort study, 508 patients were admitted and studied with a standardized set of blood tests. Anemia, as defined by the World Health Organization, was present in 277 (54.5%) patients; in the majority of cases it was mild (71.8%), normocytic (82.8%), and hypoproliferative (90.5%). The most frequent diagnosis was multifactorial anemia (47.7%); anemia of chronic disease was the most frequent single cause (28.5%) and the most frequent etiologic co-factor among multifactorial anemia. Iron deficiency was found in 22.7% of cases; vitamin B12 and folate deficiencies were found in 7.5% and 26.1%, respectively; chronic kidney disease in 16.2%; overt bleeding anemias in 4.8% and clonal hemopathies in 3.2%. Unexplained anemia was diagnosed only in 5.1% of cases. The finding of a very high frequency of anemia of chronic disease and multifactorial anemia has implications on both the diagnostic and therapeutic grounds.

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Published
2020-05-15
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Original Articles
Keywords:
Anemia, internal medicine, elderly.
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How to Cite
Silvestri, F., Pozzo, R., Barbi, A., Labombarda, A., Zaramella, M., Bramuzzo, I., Mansutti, E., Perale, L., Rogato, A., & Zanini, F. (2020). The anemia of the old and oldest-old patients hospitalized in Internal Medicine: a very high rate of anemia of chronic disease and multifactorial anemia. Italian Journal of Medicine, 14(3), 143-150. https://doi.org/10.4081/itjm.2020.1282