Health Conditions

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Anemia of chronic disease


Anemia of chronic disease is a blood disorder that results from a long-term (chronic) medical condition that affects the production and lifespan of red blood cells.

See also: Anemia


Anemia is a condition in which there is a lower than normal number of red blood cells in the blood. Certain chronic infections, inflammatory diseases, and other illnesses can affect the body's ability to produce red blood cells.

Conditions that can lead to anemia of chronic disease include:

  • AIDS
  • Cancer
  • Chronic bacterial endocarditis
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Crohn's disease
  • Hepatitis
  • Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis
  • Osteomyelitis
  • Rheumatic fever
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Ulcerative colitis


You may not notice symptoms if you have another disease.

Possible symptoms include:

  • Chest pain
  • Fatigue
  • Paleness
  • Shortness of breath


The anemia will 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, although they should only be given to patients whose iron levels are low.


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