The presence of certain chronic medical conditions, such as
and infectious and inflammatory diseases, can lead to the development of anemia.
is a blood disorder occurring when blood has abnormally low levels of red blood cells.
With anemia of chronic disease (ACD), the body cannot effectively use iron to make new red blood cells, even though levels of stored iron in the body’s tissue are normal or high. As a result, the number of healthy new red blood cells gradually falls. Similarly, levels of hemoglobin, the component of red blood cells that carries oxygen to the tissues and muscles, also drop. Although ACD is the second most common form of anemia, it is rarely severe.
may be necessary. Another treatment is to give erythropoiesis-stimulating agents (ESAs), which help stimulate growth of new red blood cells. Examples of ESAs include
darbepoetin. These drugs do have risks that are important to consider before using them. There is some evidence that ESAs may shorten survival in cancer patients.
If you have a chronic medical condition, continue prescribed treatment and maintain regular visits with your doctor.
Weiss G, Goodnough, LT. Anemia of chronic disease.
3/12/2008 DynaMed Systematic Literature Surveillance
DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance: Bennett CL, Silver SM, Djulbegovic B, et al. Venous thromboembolism and mortality associated with recombinant erythropoietin and darbepoetin administration for the treatment of cancer-associated anemia.
9/2/2009 DynaMed Systematic Literature Surveillance
DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance: Bohlius J, Schmidlin K, Brillant C, et al. Erythropoietin or Darbepoetin for patients with cancer—meta-analysis based on individual patient data.
Cochrane Database Syst Rev.
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care
provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a
substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER
IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the
advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to
starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a