Making a Difference: Evaluating Geriatric Anemia to Improve Outcomes
Anemia is common in the elderly population, but is neither normal nor harmless and may have far-reaching effects. While two-thirds of geriatric anemia cases are caused by nutritional deficiency or by chronic disease, a staggering 1/3 of cases are unidentified and may be due to a more ominous underlying condition such as occult myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS). Primary care practitioners (PCPs) need to be better aware of the etiology and workup of geriatric anemia in order to improve outcomes and provide optimal management of these patients including who and when to refer. The session is designed to guide PCPs through the differential diagnosis of geriatric anemia, specifically using mean corpuscular volume (MCV) and red blood cell distribution width (RDW), which are part of the standard complete blood count, to narrow differential diagnosis and guide subsequent evaluation.
The objective of this educational initiative is to improve knowledge, attitude and behavior surrounding the awareness, workup and management of geriatric anemia. To accomplish these goals, practical information on differentiating and managing the various causes of geriatric anemia will be presented in a highly interactive format using real world clinical cases likely to be seen in primary practice.
After completing this activity, the participant should be better able to:
- Differentiate among the etiological causes of anemia seen in geriatric patients
- Develop appropriate workup of elderly patients diagnosed with symptomatic anemia or anemia detected by incidental blood testing
- Incorporate strategies to manage elderly patients with anemia due to nutritional deficiency, blood loss, renal failure, or suspected myelodysplasia (including appropriate referral to a specialist)
This activity has expired and is no longer available for CME; however, we hope you still enjoy the education.