Impact of anemia on organ functions


The immediate effect of anemia is a decreased oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood and, consequently, a decreased supply of oxygen to various organs. The resultant tissue hypoxia evokes a number of compensatory mechanisms and a series of physiological and metabolic abnormalities that are responsible for the clinical signs and symptoms of anemia and cause limitations in physical and mental well-being of patients and their quality of life (QoL). Recent clinical studies show that anemia has much greater impacts on tissue and organ functions than previously thought, and that chronic anemia may be a risk factor not only for morbidity, but also for mortality. In this overview, the results of these studies, and particularly the relationship between the physiological and metabolic changes induced by anemia and their impacts on organ functions, physical and mental well-being and QoL will be discussed.


Iron Overload Recombinant Human Erythropoietin Nephrol Dial Transplant Chronic Anemia Serum Ferritin Concentration 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag/Wien 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Internal Medicine (Cancer Research), West German Cancer CenterUniversity of Essen Medical SchoolEssenGermany

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