Anemia is the most common hematological problem encountered in the elderly population. A cross-sectional, population-based survey was conducted to evaluate the prevalence and factors associated with anemia in the elderly in Viçosa (State of Minas Gerais). Data were collected by means of a household survey and conducting biochemical tests on 349 elderly between June and December 2009. The prevalence of anemia was 11.7% (95% CI 8.3% -15.1%) and was found to be higher among men (15.4%) among those aged 80 years and older (30%) and those who practiced polypharmacy (16.8%). The results obtained indicate anemia determinants similar to those observed in developed countries. The real need of polypharmacy should be evaluated in health care for the elderly, in order to prevent iatrogenic complications, of which anemia is one such complication.
Anemia; Hemoglobin; Determinants; Elderly