Anemia and malnutrition are risk factors for frailty in older people but data from multicenter studies among German geriatric inpatients are lacking. This analysis evaluated data from the multicenter study “GerAnaemie2013” commissioned by the German Geriatric Society.
Patients and methods
The study involved an analysis of the 579 geriatric inpatients recruited in the context of the German multicenter study “GeriAnaemie2013”. Study parameters: Barthel index (BI), handgrip strength, nutritional data (e.g. loss of appetite, loss of weight and decreased food intake). Inclusion criteria: in-patient age ≥70 years, exclusion criteria: current cancer disease or cancer-associated treatment. Anemia was defined according to the World Health Organization (WHO) criteria.
The mean age of patients was 81.9 years, overall prevalence of anemia 55.1 %, mean hemoglobin (Hb) level 11.9 g/dl, average BI 50.8 points and 30.3 % of all patients were at risk of malnutrition. While univariate analysis revealed a significantly lower BI in anemic patients, this association was no longer seen in multivariate analysis. Regression analysis revealed that a drug intake of > 5 drugs/day doubles the chance of suffering from anemia with an adjusted odds ratio (OR) of 2.17 (confidence interval (CI) 1.28–3.68, p = 0.004) as well as a serum albumin level below 3.5 g/dl with an adjusted OR of 2.11 (range 1.40–3.19, p < 0.001).
Polymedication and low serum albumin were independent risk factors for anemia in geriatric patients, probably reflecting disease severity.