Anaemia in primary care: iron deficiency and anaemia of chronic disease
Iron deficiency anaemia and anaemia of chronic disease are commonly seen in primary care. Margaret Perry discusses how to recognise, diagnose and manage these conditions
This article will look at iron deficiency anaemia and anaemia of chronic disease. Both are problems encountered frequently at a global scale and in the primary care setting. Both conditions can potentially affect any age, although anaemia of chronic disease is more common among older adults. It is hoped that the information provided will give general practice nurses and nurse prescribers greater confidence in the recognition, diagnosis, and management of these conditions, to improve patient care.
Anaemia is a condition which affects people around the world and occurs in many forms, some common and frequently encountered, others much rarer. Two of the most commonly diagnosed of these anaemia types will be reviewed here – iron deficiency anaemia and anaemia of chronic disease. Less common forms of anaemia are shown in Table 1.
Iron deficiency anaemia (IDA) is the most common cause of anaemia and is a problem worldwide, with an estimated 500 million people affected, occurring both in low-income countries such as sub-Saharan Africa and also in more affluent parts of the world (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), 2021). Anaemia of chronic disease (ACD), also called anaemia of inflammation, is the second most common anaemia type.
Both can potentially affect any age, but the latter type is more common among older adults and is a frequent finding among those in this age group admitted to hospital (Madu and Ughasoro, 2017).
Register now to continue reading
Thank you for visiting Practice Nursing and reading some of our peer-reviewed resources for general practice nurses. To read more, please register today. You’ll enjoy the following great benefits:
Limited access to clinical or professional articles
New content and clinical newsletter updates each month