Prevalence of Diabetic Adults Presenting to the ER with Undiagnosed Anemia

Anemic patients may live with the disease and not present any severe symptoms. A study examined the incidence of undiagnosed anemia in diabetic adults aged 22 to 90 years admitted to the emergency room (ER) in Al-Huda hospital in Saudi Arabia.

More than one-third of patients (36%) who presented to the ER were diabetic. Most patients were female and had not completed school. The majority of patients did not present with clinical findings of anemia; the most common reasons for admission included shortness of breath, abdominal pain, chest pain, drowsiness, flank pain, nausea, and vomiting. Of the diabetic patients, five had low mean hemoglobin and levels of red blood cells. These patients met the World Health Organization’s anemia criteria but would require further laboratory analyses to identify the type of anemia.

The authors concluded, “This study suggested an integrated strategy for anemia control and prevention including education to encourage [the] community to improve their dietary nutrition, reducing inhibitors of iron absorption (such as tea) and taking iron supplementation pills, especially among high risk and diabetic individuals.”