Anemia of chronic disease
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Anemia of chronic disease


Anemia of chronic disease is a blood disorder that results from a medical condition that affects the production and lifespan of red blood cells.

See also: Anemia

Alternative Names

Anemia of inflammation


Anemia is a condition where there is a lower than normal number of red blood cells in the blood. Certain chronic infections and inflammatory diseases can affect red blood cells.

Conditions associated with the anemia of chronic disease include:

Chronic renal failure may produce a similar anemia because it causes reduced levels of erythropoietin, the hormone that stimulates the production of red blood cells in the bone marrow.


Symptoms may go unnoticed when there is another disease present. Possible symptoms include:

  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Tiredness

Exams and Tests

The doctor will perform a physical examination. Anemia can be confirmed by a red blood count or hemoglobin level.


This type of anemia responds to treatment of the primary disease. It is rarely severe enough to require blood transfusion.

Outlook (Prognosis)

With successful treatment of the primary disease, the anemia will go away.

Possible Complications

Discomfort from symptoms is the primary complication of most cases.

When to Contact a Medical Professional

Call for an appointment with your health care provider if you have a chronic disorder and you develop symptoms of anemia.

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