In the United States, 35 percent of older adults with anemia are due to having a poor diet. Forty-five percent of all anemias in older adults are due to chronic medical conditions. Twenty percent of anemias have no known cause.

In older people, anemia is often caused by more than one condition at the same time.

Anemia also can be caused by:

  • Low red blood cell production due to disease or nutritional problems
  • Hereditary diseases
  • Medications
  • Alcohol dependency
  • Bleeding caused by polyps or tumors in the bowels
  • Kidney stones or tumors
  • Cancers
  • Surgery
  • Heart valve problems


Last Updated November 2022

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