If you are 65 years and above, suffering from unexplained anemia, then perhaps you may consider enrolling for the clinical trial investigating the efficacy of administering intravenous (IV) iron. The study is being conducted at the Duke Clinical Research Institute and aims to find out if iron administered intravenously would improve hemoglobin levels, physical function, though process, and quality of life in older adults.
What is Unexplained Anemia?
Anemia, commonly observed in the elderly is termed unexplained anemia or UA. Anemia is a blood disorder which can be attributed to a myriad causes. In many cases anemia is a temporary condition, however sometimes, the condition aggravates and assumes chronic proportions. When cause of anemia cannot be determined, unexplained anemia ensues. UA is in most cases mild with hemoglobin levels approximately 1g/dL lower than the WHO standard.
In UA, a blood smear reveals typical normal size with no evidence of intravascular destruction or morphological features suggesting myelodysplasia. UA is attributed to multi factors. Many age-related physiological changes like, renal insufficiency, stem cell aging, androgen insufficiency, chronic inflammation, or myelodysplasia, can contribute to either a decline in red blood cell production or shortened red blood cell survival and in all probabilities, these would be the underlying causes of UA.
In addition, three other causes may lead to unexplained anemia in the elderly. These are,
- Effect of changes in estrogen or testosterone levels.
- Inclination for polypharmaceutical usage including alcohol. Many drugs have the ability to reduce erythropoiesis.
- Evaluation of medical history for conditions not usually associated with anemia like hypothyroidism.
Over 34% of anemia in the elderly is UA. This frequent and under appreciated morbid condition needs to be looked into.
Check out your eligibility to participate in the clinical trial sponsored by the NIH and conducted at the Duke Clinical Research Institute, by filling the form here.
For further assistance, please leave query in the comment section.
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