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Anemia definition and facts

  • Anemia is a medical condition in which the red blood cell count or hemoglobin is less than normal.
  • For men, anemia is typically defined as hemoglobin level of less than 13.5 gram/100 ml and in women as hemoglobin of less than 12.0 gram/100 ml.
  • Anemia is caused by either a decrease in production of red blood cells or hemoglobin, or an increase in loss (usually due to bleeding) or destruction of red blood cells.
  • Some patients with anemia have no symptoms. Those that do have symptoms may
    • feel tired,
    • become easily fatigued,
    • appear pale,
    • have a feeling of a heart racing,
    • feel short of breath, and/or
    • have worsening heart problems.
  • Anemia can be detected with a simple blood test called a complete blood cell count (CBC).
  • The treatment of the anemia varies greatly and very much depends on the particular cause.

Reviewed on 10/25/2017

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