Causes of high erythrocyte sedimentation rates in elderly patients [Yasli hastalarda yüksek eritrosit sedimentasyon hizinin nedenlerinin incelenmesi]
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Objective: The erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) determination is a simple and inexpensive laboratory test that is frequently ordered in clinical medicine. The test measures the distance that erythrocytes have fallen after one hour in a vertical column of anticoagulated blood under the influence of gravity. In this study it was aimed to determine the frequency of diseases which ESRs were over 100 mm/h in patients aged 65 and over. Method: In this study patients aged 65 and over who were treated in Turgut Özal University Hospital were retrospectively examined. Patients whose ESRs were over 100 mm/h were analyzed recording their ages, genders, ESRs and diagnoses. Diagnoses were divided into five groups: (i) infection; (ii) malignancy; (iii) inflammatory/connective tissue diseases; (iv) renal diseases; (v) miscellaneous diseases. Results: Two hundred five patients aged 65 and over whose ESRs were over 100 mm/h were analyzed. 115 of patients were women (56%) and 90 of them were men (44%). Age means of patients were 74.9 ± 6.45 and ESR means were 114.9 ± 14.8. When distribution according to disease groups was assessed, infection took the first rank (37.5%), malignancy took the second rank (21.9%), miscellaneous diseases took the third rank (21.4%), renal diseases took the forth rank (15.1%). The frequency of inflammatory/connective tissue diseases was 3.9%. Conclusion: In elderly, the most common cause of extreme elevation of ESR is infection. Different from other age groups, malignancy was found as the second common reason causing elevation of ESR. When etiology was researched in patients with extreme elevation of ESR, the age factor must be taken into consideration.