The Prevalence of Anemia and its Association with Depressive Symptoms among Older Adults in North of Iran

Seyed Reza Hosseini, Ali Zabihi, Seyed Hesameddin Ebrahimi, Seyedeh Roghayeh Jafarian Amiri, Farzan Kheirkhah, Ali Bijani


Background: Anemia is the most prevalent blood disorder in older adults which can have negative effects on the quality of life and lead to the onset of depressive symptoms. We aimed to determine the prevalence of anemia accompanied by depression among older people in the city of Amirkola, north of Iran.

Study design: A cross-sectional study.

Methods: Overall, 1616 older people aged 60 and over (883 males and 733 females) were enrolled in the city of Amirkola, north of Iran since 2011. To diagnose anemia we used WHO criterion which is a hemoglobin value of less than 12 and 13 g/dl in women and men, respectively. We also used Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS) to detect the presence of depression symptoms. The data were analyzed using SPSS version18.0 and statistical tests.

Results: The prevalence of anemia was 19% (302 out of 1616 participants). The prevalence of anemia in women was 20.3% and in men was 17.9%. In people with and without depressive symptoms it was 23.2% and 15.8%, respectively. The mean hemoglobin level in people with and without depressive symptoms was 13.29 ±1.63 and 13.96 ±1.50, respectively (P<0.001). According to logistic regression model, depressive symptoms were most highly related to gender (OR=3.67; 95% CI: 2.80, 4.81) and besides that smoking, Mini-Mental Estate Examination (MMSE), diabetes and anemia (OR=1.46; 95% CI: 1.09, 1.95) were related to depression.

Conclusion: Significant prevalence of anemia and direct association with depressive symptoms in the elderly reflect the need for proper planning for prevention interventions, accurate and continuous screening of these diseases.


Anemia; Depression; Older adults

Full Text: PDF

JRHS Office:

School of Public Health, Hamadan University of Medical Sciences, Shaheed Fahmideh Ave. Hamadan, Islamic Republic of Iran

Postal code: 6517838695, PO box: 65175-4171

Tel: +98 81 38380292, Fax: +98 81 38380509