Hematological Indices, Nutrient Intake and Health Status of Older Adults in Selected Suburban Filipino Community


Julieta Z. Dungca*, Aileen C. Patron, Ma. Cristina S.J. Liwanag,
Charito M. Bermido, Veron Balintona, and Erna V. Yabut

Centro Escolar University, School of Science and Technology & College of
Medical Technology, 9 Mendiola, Manila, Philippines

corresponding author: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



This study investigated the health status of 90 male and 169 female community-dwelling individuals ≥ 60 yrs in terms of the hematological values, nutritional status and medical history. Hematological test results were obtained using an automated hematology analyzer. Interviews and pretested questionnaires were used to obtain the demographic profile, medical history and nutrient intake based on a 24-hour recall. Based on the WHO criteria of anemia (Hb < 120 g/L for female and < 130 g/l for male), 21.6% were anemic. Of these, 78.6% have normocytic normochromic type, while 10.7% have hypochromic microcytic type. Leukocytosis was observed in 8.1%, eosinophilia in 26%, and lymphocytosis in 7.7% of the participants. Age was found to be inversely correlated with the erythrocyte count (p= but positively correlated with the mean corpuscular volume (p<0.01). Arthritis (36%) and hypertension (29.3%) were the most common health complaints. Inadequate protein, energy and calcium intake were noted in 83.6%, 77.6%, and 91.1%, respectively. Almost all of those who were found anemic had deficiency in iron and thiamine. The findings of high proportion of older adults with abnormal hematological values and deficiencies in major nutrients, may suggest an impaired health status that warrants immediate medical attention. Likewise, the high incidence of anemia with eosinophilia and the very significant correlation between anemia and eosinophil count (p=0.01) may imply helminthic parasitic infection in this group of older individuals which has to be confirmed through fecalysis and allergy tests.



Aging of the world population is anticipated in the next four decades. According to the 2006 Revision of the World Population Prospects, by 2045, there will be more people age 60 years and above than children (World Population Prospects 2006). . . . . . . . . . . . . .





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