Objective: Anemia is a common problem among older people. Deficiency of essential erythropoiesis elements (iron, vitamin B12, and folic acid) is one of the major causes of anemia in older people. Studies evaluated prevalence of anemia in our country generally consisted of older people admitted to hospital. Studies conducted on community dwelling older people were much more less. The aim of this study is to evaluate prevalence of anemia and nutritional deficiencies in community dwelling elderly in our country. Totally 827 elderly individuals living in community participated in this study.
Materials and methods: Anemia was defined according to the World Health Organization (Hb<13 g/dl for men and Hb<12 g/dl for women). Iron, vitamin B12, and folic acid deficiencies were evaluated. Iron deficiency anemia was diagnosed when anemia with iron level<60 μg/dl and ferritin level<12 ng/ml. Vitamin B12 deficiency anemia was diagnosed when anemia with vitamin B12 level<200 pg/ml. Folic acid deficiency anemia was diagnosed when anemia with folic acid level<2.6 ng/ml.
Results: Prevalence of anemia was found 7.3%. Prevalence of iron deficiency, vitamin B12, and folic acid deficiency were found 7.1%, 64.2% and 10.9%, and 10.9%, respectively. Prevalence of iron deficiency anemia was found 2.8%. Prevalence of vitamin B12 deficiency anemia was found 4.4% and folic acid deficiency anemia was found 1%.
Conclusions: Prevalence of anemia was seen 7.3% in our study, but more studies are needed on anemia in community dwelling elderly in our country. Deficiency of iron, vitamin B12, and folic acid is also high in Turkey.
Keywords: Anemia; Elderly; Folic acid; Iron; Vitamin B(12).
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