Weakness, irritability, fatigue and dizziness are common symptoms for men and women who suffer from anemia, according to WebMD. The disease is characterized by the blood's impaired ability to carry oxygen, making the heart work harder and potentially leading to other conditions and complications.
Anemia is caused by a lack of hemoglobin, or red blood cells, which bind oxygen, states WebMD. As of 2015, it is the most common blood disease, impacting over 13 million Americans. Women and young children are high risk groups for anemia, as are people with other chronic diseases, making older people a high risk group.
Anemia in elderly people is commonly caused by another underlying condition, such as advanced kidney disease or kidney failure, hypothyroidism, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis or cancer, states WebMD. Other causes include gastrointestinal conditions such as ulcers, inflammation of the stomach, lupus or hemorrhoids. Other potential causes of anemia include using anti-inflammatory drugs, bone marrow and stem cell problems, or treatments for other chronic conditions or diseases. Poor nutrition is a less common cause of anemia in the elderly, but deficiencies in vitamins and certain key nutrients such as iron, vitamin B-12 or folate are frequently at the root of the problem. Approximately 30 percent of anemia cases do not have a specific identifiable cause.