Prevalence and health correlates of anaemia among community-dwelling Chinese older adults: the China Health and Retirement Longitudinal Study.

Journal Article (Journal Article)


To identify the prevalence of anaemia among older adults in China by sociodemographic and geographical regions, and cross-sectionally examine the associations between anaemia and several geriatric outcomes.


Cross-sectional study.

Setting and participants

Participants were 6656 older adults aged at least 60 years with haemoglobin data from the 2015 to 2016 wave of the China Health and Retirement Longitudinal Study.


We examined the prevalence of anaemia by sociodemographics (age, sex, residence, education, marital status) and geographical regions, adjusting for age. We investigated the associations between anaemia and geriatric conditions.


The prevalence of anaemia was 20.6% among adults ≥60 years and was higher at advanced ages, among those who were females, living in rural areas, and those who were unmarried. The southern region of China had a higher burden of anaemia than the north. Anaemic adults had a higher age-adjusted prevalence of falls, activities of daily living (ADL) disability, instrumental ADL disability, lower extremely functional limitation, upper extremely functional limitation, low gait speed, low grip strength and low self-reported memory.


Anaemia affected approximately one in five older adults in China, particularly in those with disadvantaged sociodemographics, and anaemia was associated with a higher burden of geriatric conditions. Huge geographical disparities of anaemia prevalence between northern and southern regions reflected the dietary variations in different regions. Efforts on preventing anaemia and reducing regional disparities of anaemia were needed to improve older adults' health in China.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Wang, Y; Ping, Y-J; Jin, H-Y; Ge, N; Wu, C

Published Date

  • October 2020

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 10 / 10

Start / End Page

  • e038147 -

PubMed ID

  • 33130563

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC7783604

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 2044-6055

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 2044-6055

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1136/bmjopen-2020-038147


  • eng