COPD Can Lead to Anemia, and Anemia Can Worsen COPD Exacerbations

One thought on “COPD Can Lead to Anemia, and Anemia Can Worsen COPD Exacerbations

  1. PERF says:

    A reader wrote to us to ask, “In regards to the article about anemia and COPD, I was wondering what doctors do for anemia caused by COPD other than iron supplements.”

    Dr. Richard Casaburi, President of PERF, provided this response:

    People who have COPD can have high, normal or low numbers of red blood cells circulating in their blood. If it is low (this is called anemia), this is often (but not always) related to what is called “anemia of chronic disease”. The bone marrow, where red cells get produced, essentially gets pooped. Your physician will do blood tests to try to identify the cause of the anemia. The tests may reveal that the body iron stores are low. In this case, iron supplements are usually tried. There are other drugs that can be used to reverse anemia, but only under the direction of a physician and only for certain causes of anemia. For example, for some causes of anemia, a drug called erythropoietin can stimulate the bone marrow to reverse anemia.

    I hope that this helps you, and thank you for writing to us.

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