Anemia, nutritional status, and inflammation in hospitalized elderly
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CitationNutrition 2008, 24(11-12):1116-22
AbstractOBJECTIVE: Anemia (hemoglobin <120 g/L) in elderly patients is a health problem. The aim of this study was to investigate the prevalence of anemia and associations of anemia with nutritional status and inflammation in hospitalized elderly. METHODS: Sixty patients from the Department of Geriatrics were randomly assigned to participate. Blood samples were drawn and analyzed at the laboratory of the University Hospital in Reykjavik. Nutritional status was assessed using anthropometric and hematologic parameters. RESULTS: The prevalence of anemia was 36.7%. Female participants were more frequently anemic than male participants (47.4% versus 18.2%, P = 0.024). Anemic patients had a lower albumin level (31.3 versus 33.4 g/L, P = 0.019) and a higher erythrocyte sedimentation rate (29.6 versus 16.0 mm/h, P = 0.005) and were more often malnourished (81.8% versus 44.7%, P = 0.005) than non-anemic patients. Hemoglobin correlated with prealbumin (rho = 0.338, P = 0.008) and albumin (rho = 0.250, P = 0.054) levels, but negatively with age (rho = -0.310, P = 0.016) and erythrocyte sedimentation rate (rho = -0.412, P < 0.001). In the multivariate analysis, erythrocyte sedimentation rate and nutritional status were significant predictors of hemoglobin (R(2) = 34.0%). CONCLUSION: This cross-sectional analysis provides evidence of anemia in 36.7% of patients hospitalized at the Landspitali-University Hospital in Reykjavik and shows an association among anemia, deteriorated nutritional status, and inflammation. Future prospective studies are needed to assess the efficacy of adjuvant nutritional support to stabilize or improve nutritional status including anemia in hospitalized elderly.
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