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Anales de Medicina Interna

versión impresa ISSN 0212-7199


ANIA LAFUENTE, B. J. et al. Anemia and functional disability on admission to a geriatric nursing home. An. Med. Interna (Madrid) [online]. 2001, vol.18, n.1, pp.09-12. ISSN 0212-7199.

Aims: To ascertain the prevalence of anemia on admission to a nursing home, and to assess the relationship between the observed cases of anemia and the functional status of those subjects. Methods: We studied 198 subjects: 82 men (41%) aged 75.8±8.8 years, and 116 women (59%) aged 78.2±8.3 years. Anemia was diagnosed according to the criteria of the World Health Organization. The classification as non-disabled, or physically or mentally disabled, was done according to the Scales of the Spanish Red Cross. Results: Anemia was diagnosed in 36% of the males, being microcytic in 14%, normocytic in 83%, and macrocytic only in 3% of them. Among women there were 44% with anemia, which was microcytic in 16%, normocytic in 80%, and macrocytic in 4% of cases. The prevalence of anemia increased with age in both sexes. Among men, anemia was significantly associated (P=0.013) with physical disability, whereas among women this association just fell off significance (P=0.06). There was no association of anemia with mental disability. No association was found between serum concentrations of ferritin, vitamin B12, or folic acid, and the classification as non-disabled, or as physically or mentally disabled. Conclusions: Anemia is found in about 40% of the elderly on admission to our nursing home. Anemia is associated with older age and with physical disability, but not with mental disability. Whether anemia on admission entails a higher risk of disability onset during the stay in the nursing home remains to be elucidated. 

Palabras clave : Anemia; Disability; Nursing home; Non-disabled elderly; Disabled elderly.

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