Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Anemia may contribute to the spread of dengue fever

Mosquitoes are more likely to acquire the dengue virus when they feed on blood with low levels of iron, researchers report in the 16 September issue of Nature Microbiology. Supplementing people's diets with iron in places ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Hookworm infection may cause cognitive impairment earlier than thought

Evidence from the lab of Raffi Aroian, Ph.D., shows that short-term human hookworm infection, even at low levels, can cause rapid, acute and measurable cognitive impairments in spatial memory among a mammalian animal model. ...

Health

Poor diet causes blindness in a young 'fussy eater'

A poor diet caused a young patient's blindness, according to a case report published in Annals of Internal Medicine. According to the authors, nutritional optic neuropathy should be considered in any patient with unexplained ...

Medical research

Helping transplanted stem cells stick around and do their jobs

Bone marrow transplants of hematopoietic stem cells have become standard treatment for a host of conditions including cancers of the blood and lymphatic systems, sickle cell anemia, inherited metabolic disorders, and radiation ...

Medications

Voxelotor improves hemoglobin levels in sickle cell disease

(HealthDay)—For individuals with sickle cell disease, 1,500 mg of voxelotor increases hemoglobin levels and reduces the incidence of worsening anemia compared with placebo, according to a study published in the June 14 ...

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Anemia (/əˈniːmiə/; also spelled anaemia and anæmia; from Greek ἀναιμία anaimia, meaning lack of blood) is a decrease in number of red blood cells (RBCs) or less than the normal quantity of hemoglobin in the blood. However, it can include decreased oxygen-binding ability of each hemoglobin molecule due to deformity or lack in numerical development as in some other types of hemoglobin deficiency.

Because hemoglobin (found inside RBCs) normally carries oxygen from the lungs to the tissues, anemia leads to hypoxia (lack of oxygen) in organs. Since all human cells depend on oxygen for survival, varying degrees of anemia can have a wide range of clinical consequences.

Anemia is the most common disorder of the blood. There are several kinds of anemia, produced by a variety of underlying causes. Anemia can be classified in a variety of ways, based on the morphology of RBCs, underlying etiologic mechanisms, and discernible clinical spectra, to mention a few. The three main classes of anemia include excessive blood loss (acutely such as a hemorrhage or chronically through low-volume loss), excessive blood cell destruction (hemolysis) or deficient red blood cell production (ineffective hematopoiesis).

There are two major approaches: the "kinetic" approach which involves evaluating production, destruction and loss, and the "morphologic" approach which groups anemia by red blood cell size. The morphologic approach uses a quickly available and low cost lab test as its starting point (the MCV). On the other hand, focusing early on the question of production may allow the clinician to expose cases more rapidly where multiple causes of anemia coexist.

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