How is anemia defined?

Updated: Apr 13, 2020
  • Author: Gates B Colbert, MD, FASN; Chief Editor: Emmanuel C Besa, MD  more...
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By definition, anemia refers to an absolute reduction of the total number of circulating red blood cells (RBCs). For practical purposes, anemia is considered when one or more of the following are decreased: hemoglobin, hematocrit, or RBC count. This condition is a laboratory finding that signifies the presence of illness or disease; anemia itself should not be considered a diagnosis.

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