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The Role of Older Age in Normocytic Anaemia in Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus


Yen Hun Wee and Mahesan Anpalahan*   Pages 1 - 8 ( 8 )


Background: Older age has a significant association with anaemia. However, this has not been adequately investigated in the context of specific comorbidities such as type 2 diabetes mellitus(T2DM).

Objectives: To investigate the role of age in normocytic anaemia(NCA) and the adverse outcomes of NCA in T2DM.

Methods: Patients with NCA, either unexplained or related to chronic kidney disease(CKD), were recruited from a diabetic clinic over six months. Anaemia was defined as a haemoglobin(Hb) < 130g/l for men and <120g/l for women. The relevant data were obtained by interviewing patients and review of medical records. Patients were followed for 12 months for pre-defined adverse outcomes.

Results: Of the 354 patients assessed, 203 were included (mean age 63.12 ± 13.62 years, males 49.8%). The prevalence of NCA was 24%(49). Older age had a significant univariate association with NCA (p < 0.001) and this remained significant (adjusted odds ratio (OR)1.24, 95% CI 1.16-5.29) after adjusting for estimated glomerular filtration rate(eGFR) < 60ml/min/1.73m2, albuminuria and other potential confounders. Adjusting for eGFR as a continuous variable also confirmed this significant association (OR1.15, 95% CI 1.10-7.01). In the subgroup of patients aged ≥ 75 years, only older age was significantly associated with NCA. The incidence of all-cause mortality and composite cardiovascular/cerebrovascular events was similar in the anaemic and non-anaemic groups.

Conclusions: NCA is common in T2DM and has a significant association with older age independent of CKD. The anaemia is mild in most patients and appears to have a benign course.


Older age Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus. Normocytic Anaemia. Adverse outcomes. Chronic Kidney Disease


Department of Aged Care and Rehabilitation, General Medicine, Alfred Health, Melbourne, Department of General Medicine, Eastern Health, Melbourne

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