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Anaemia - a common syndrome in old age

MOJ Gerontology & Geriatrics
Mariana Georgieva Yordanova


Anaemia is a common syndrome in the elderly (age>65 years), combined with changes and diseases characteristic of ageing. There are currently nearly 500 million (7%) adults over the age of 65 in the world. According to statistics, there are about 15 million older people with anaemia in the European Union. This number is likely to increase in the coming years due to the ageing population in Western societies.1 The acute anaemic syndrome is dominated by symptoms of decreased circulatory volume, such as dizziness, syncope and hypotension. While in the chronic course, anaemia can be asymptomatic and be detected accidentally in a laboratory test. Suspicious signs are a reduced ability to carry oxygen, such as general weakness, fatigue and shortness of breath, for which age changes are often blamed. Worsening of concomitant conditions such as angina, heart failure, CKD and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease has been observed. Older people with anaemia of any degree have a deteriorating quality of life due to significantly higher morbidity and mortality. The purpose of this review is to summarize the most common etiological causes of anaemia in the elderly, clinical consequences, and guidelines for diagnosis.


anaemia, old age