Haematological profile of healthy elderly Australians

H. H. Salem, K. Campion, J. J. McNeil, J. Robert, G. A. Donnan, A. M. Tonkin, B. Worsam

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Abstract

Objective: To determine normal values for haematological parameters in healthy elderly persons, and document any changes in these over a 12 month period. Design: The study was conducted as part of a randomised controlled trial of low-dose aspirin for primary prevention of cardiovascular disease in the elderly. All participants (380) had a full blood examination performed at entry, which was repeated after 12 months. The baseline results for all patients and the 12 month findings in a cohort of 162 persons allocated placebo were used in the present study. Setting: Community-based (general practices and residential retirement villages). Subjects: Persons aged 70 years and over (53% females) who were ambulatory, living independently, and volunteered to participate. None had significant vascular disease, peptic ulceration, haemorrhagic symptoms or were currently taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Main outcome measures: Full blood examination (excluding white cell differential counts) performed with a Technicon H1 analyser. Results: The mean haemoglobin level ± standard deviation (SD) was 14.69±1.10 g/dL (for men) and 13.72±1.05 g/dL (for women). Significant differences (P<0.001) in packed cell volume, red cell and platelet counts were observed between the two sexes. No clinically significant change was observed in any of the parameters over a 12 month period. Conclusions: Haematological reference values for healthy elderly Australians are consistent with normal values reported in younger populations for both sexes. As a result recommendations are provided for normal reference values among this group in an Australian setting.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)96-100
Number of pages5
JournalThe Medical Journal of Australia
Volume157
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1992

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