Frequency of anemia in chronic psychiatry patients
Purpose: Anemia could cause psychiatric symptoms such as cognitive function disorders and depression or could deteriorate an existing psychiatric condition when it is untreated. The objective of this study is to scrutinize the frequency of anemia in chronic psychiatric patients and the clinical and sociodemographic factors that could affect this frequency.
Methods: All inpatients in our clinic who satisfied the study criteria and received treatment between April 2014 and April 2015 were included in this cross-sectional study. Sociodemographic data for 378 patients included in the study and hemoglobin (Hb) and hematocrit values observed during their admission to the hospital were recorded in the forms. Male patients with an Hb level of <13 g/dL and nonpregnant female patients with an Hb level of <12 g/dL were considered as anemic.
Findings: Axis 1 diagnoses demonstrated that 172 patients had depressive disorder, 51 patients had bipolar disorder, 54 patients had psychotic disorder, 33 patients had conversion disorder, 19 patients had obsessive-compulsive disorder, 25 patients had generalized anxiety disorder, and 24 patients had other psychiatric conditions. It was also determined that 25.4% of the patients suffered from anemia. Thirty-five percent of females and 10% of males were considered as anemic. The frequency of anemia was the highest among psychotic disorder patients (35%), followed by generalized anxiety disorder patients (32%), and obsessive-compulsive disorder patients (26%). Anemia was diagnosed in 22% of depressive disorder patients, 25% of bipolar disorder patients, and 24% of conversion disorder patients.
Results: The prevalence of anemia among chronic psychiatry patients is more frequent than the general population. Thus, the study concluded that it would be beneficial to consider the physical symptoms and to conduct the required examinations to determine anemia among this patient group.
Keywords: anemia, hemoglobin, physical disease