Many researchers have discovered that anemia in the elderly increases the risk of a deadly outcome if that person is suffering from another disease by 40 percent. Because of that, the doctors should take extra precautions when it comes to anemia. Thirteen percent of people above 70 years old have anemia, and it is commonly caused by iron deficiency and vitamin B12 deficiency. An increased risk of a deadly outcome can exist even if the elderly person does not suffer from any other disease.
The risk factor is increased if that person smokes and has an unstable blood pressure. A high level of hemoglobin certainly decreases the risk of a deadly outcome. Many studies have shown that physical performance and strength in elderly are largely decreased in anemic elderly persons. Anemia in the elderly is generally caused by nutritional deficiencies and chronic illness. Any form of anemia should not be taken as a normal state in aging. If it is not discovered immediately, the underlying condition of anemia may take a severe form, and turn into an untreatable state.
The symptoms of anemia in elderly are roughly the same as in younger patients. They include weakness, dizziness, irritability and a poor physical state in general. If anemia in elderly is not treated, then the heart works harder, and this may cause serious consequences. There are many cases where the anemia in patients is unexplainable as well. Their main cause cannot be discovered.
Elderly patients who have anemia should be medically treated promptly in order to find the cause of anemia, since it is frequently caused by another disease. Even a mild form of anemia can have serious consequences if it is not treated properly. Nutritional deficiencies require the treatment with supplements which contain the missing nutrient. Of course, anemia in elderly can also be treated with proper nutrition, but sometimes that treatment is not efficient enough, and a drug related treatment is sometimes necessary.