Impact of Correcting Nutritional Deficiency Anemias in the Elderly on Hospitalizations, Falls, and Mortalities

Tammarah Sklarz, Angelica Italiano, Naveen Menon, Caroline Correia, Elena Sharma, Samantha Wu, Krystal Hunter, Satyajeet Roy


Background: The incidence and prevalence of anemia increase with age, particularly in adults older than 65 years, and it is associated with a number of adverse health outcomes (AHO), particularly hospitalizations, falls and mortalities. Given that approximately one-third of these anemias are due to reversible causes, we studied whether the treatment of nutritional deficiency anemia (NDA), namely iron deficiency anemia (IDA), cobalamin deficiency anemia (CDA), and folate deficiency anemia (FDA), improves AHO; and explored whether each NDA had different AHO.

Methods: We reviewed electronic medical records of our internal medicine office patients aged 65 years or older, who had a diagnosis of anemia in a non-acute setting.

Results: Total 600 patients were included. Mean age was 75.2 years. Thirty-one point three percent had NDA (CDA 15.3%, IDA 12.3%, FDA 3.7%); and 68.7% had other anemias whom we categorized as non-nutritional deficiency anemias (NNDA), which included anemia of chronic disease (11.2%), myelodysplastic syndrome (6.2%), renal insufficiency anemia (5.7%) and unexplained anemia (45.6%). Even after adequate treatment, IDA group had significantly more hospitalizations (median, 25th - 75th: 2 (0 - 4) vs. 0 (0 - 1), P < 0.001), falls (median, 25th - 75th: 1 (0 - 3) vs. 0 (0 - 1), P < 0.001) and mortalities (10.8% vs. 3.4%, P = 0.011); CDA group had significantly more hospitalizations (median, 25th - 75th: 1 (0 - 2) vs. 0 (0 - 1), P = 0.007), but no difference in falls (median, 25th - 75th: 0 (0 - 1) vs. 0 (0 - 1), P = 0.171) and mortalities (7.6% vs. 3.4%, P = 0.083); and FDA group had significantly more hospitalizations (median, 25th - 75th: 1 (0 - 2) vs. 0 (0 - 1), P = 0.001), but no difference in falls (median, 25th - 75th: 0 (0 - 1) vs. 0 (0 - 1), P = 0.615) and mortalities (4.5% vs. 3.4%, P = 0.550), compared to the NNDA group. Age, Black race, higher number of comorbidities, presence of malignancy and use of direct oral anticoagulants were associated with increased odds of AHO in patients with NDA.

Conclusions: Compared to the patients with NNDA, patients with IDA had more hospitalizations, falls and mortalities even after adequate treatment; while patients with CDA and FDA had only more hospitalizations. Adequate treatment mitigated falls and mortalities in elderly patients with CDA and FDA.

J Hematol. 2021;10(6):233-245


Anemia; Elderly; Iron deficiency; Vitamin B12 deficiency; Cobalamin deficiency; Folate deficiency; Nutritional deficiency anemias

Full Text: HTML PDF

Browse  Journals  


Journal of Clinical Medicine Research

Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism

Journal of Clinical Gynecology and Obstetrics

World Journal of Oncology

Gastroenterology Research

Journal of Hematology

Journal of Medical Cases

Journal of Current Surgery

Clinical Infection and Immunity

Cardiology Research

World Journal of Nephrology and Urology

Cellular and Molecular Medicine Research

Journal of Neurology Research

International Journal of Clinical Pediatrics






Journal of Hematology, bimonthly, ISSN 1927-1212 (print), 1927-1220 (online), published by Elmer Press Inc.                            
The content of this site is intended for health care professionals.
This is an open-access journal distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, which permits unrestricted
non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Creative Commons Attribution license (Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International CC BY-NC 4.0)

This journal follows the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) recommendations for manuscripts submitted to biomedical journals,
the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) guidelines, and the Principles of Transparency and Best Practice in Scholarly Publishing.

website:    editorial contact:
Address: 9225 Leslie Street, Suite 201, Richmond Hill, Ontario, L4B 3H6, Canada

© Elmer Press Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in the published articles are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the editors and Elmer Press Inc. This website is provided for medical research and informational purposes only and does not constitute any medical advice or professional services. The information provided in this journal should not be used for diagnosis and treatment, those seeking medical advice should always consult with a licensed physician.