Anaemia in elderly in-patients in psychiatric hospitala serious problem or an innocent finding?

Y. A. M. Yasir Hameed, J. Beezhold, M. Everard

Research output: Contribution to journalAbstract


Background: Anemia (and especially mild forms) is a frequent laboratory finding in the elderly and is usually regarded in our everyday practice in psychiatry as an incidental innocent finding.

However, the growing body of literature proves otherwise.

Recent literature shows that anemia in the elderly has serious negative impact on mortality, morbidity and quality of life in this age group.

Despite the importance of this topic in mental health care, there is paucity or even lack of studies aiming to examine the magnitude of this problem in psychiatric hospitals and to suggest potential solutions for it.

In this small study, we aim to examine the prevalence of anemia in an inpatient psychiatric hospital, the types of anemia found, the investigations done and if any treatment was given.

Design and methods: Inpatient case notes were examined retrospectively for patients admitted to the Julian hospital from June 2010 to December 2010.

Anemia was defined according to the WHO criteria1 as a hemoglobin concentration lower than 12 g/dL in women and 13 g/dL in men.

Results: Based on WHO criteria, most of our elderly patients were found to be anemic, with a significantly higher frequency in men than in women. The prevalence of anemia increased with increasing age, both in men and in women.

Conclusions: Anemia in elderly is a frequent, underappreciated and potentially morbid condition accounting for significant morbidity and mortality in this population.

As mental health professionals, we must work with our colleagues in medicine to translate awareness into action.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)862
Number of pages1
JournalEuropean Psychiatry
Issue numberSupplement 1
Publication statusPublished - 2011

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