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Anemia of chronic disease

  • Alternative Names

    Anemia of inflammation


    The anemia is often mild enough that it requires no treatment, and will likely get better when the disease that is causing it is treated.

    The condition is rarely severe enough to require a blood transfusion.

    Iron supplements may sometimes be used, but only for patients whose iron levels are low. Taking iron pills when your body does not need it can lead to serious medical problems. Always talk with your health care provider first.

    For some conditions, such as chronic kidney disease, medicine called erythropoietin may be given. It stimulates your bone marrow to make more red blood cells.

    Expectations (prognosis)

    The anemia will improve when the disease that is causing it is successfully treated.


    Discomfort from symptoms is the main complication in most cases. Anemia is associated with a higher risk of death in patients with heart failure.

    Calling your health care provider

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