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      Anemia in the elderly.

      American family physician

      therapy, etiology, diagnosis, Vitamin B 12 Deficiency, Myelodysplastic Syndromes, Humans, Folic Acid Deficiency, Diagnosis, Differential, Anemia, Hypochromic, Anemia, Aged

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          Abstract

          Anemia should not be accepted as an inevitable consequence of aging. A cause is found in approximately 80 percent of elderly patients. The most common causes of anemia in the elderly are chronic disease and iron deficiency. Vitamin B12 deficiency, folate deficiency, gastrointestinal bleeding and myelodysplastic syndrome are among other causes of anemia in the elderly. Serum ferritin is the most useful test to differentiate iron deficiency anemia from anemia of chronic disease. Not all cases of vitamin B12 deficiency can be identified by low serum levels. The serum methylmalonic acid level may be useful for diagnosis of vitamin B12 deficiency. Vitamin B12 deficiency is effectively treated with oral vitamin B12 supplementation. Folate deficiency is treated with 1 mg of folic acid daily.

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          11037074

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