Assessment of Iron Stores in Anemic Geriatric Patients
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Of patients referred to a geriatric service, 66 were identified who were clearly anemic (hemoglobin less than 12 g in men, less than 11 g in women) but whose cause of anemia was not readily identifiable by noninvasive measures. The difficulty in distinguishing iron deficiency from chronic disease as a cause of anemia by noninvasive means (serum iron, total iron binding capacity, transferrin saturation ratio, and serum ferritin), is highlighted by the poor power of these investigations when compared with bone marrow iron stores. A transferrin saturation ratio of less than 11% and a serum ferritin of less than 45 pg/L serve better than currently accepted values to identify iron deficiency in this population.
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