Q. 59 year old with a hemoglobin level of 5. Is it dangerous?

Answered by
Dr. Sumit Srivastava
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Jul 29, 2017 and last reviewed on: Jun 28, 2019

Hello doctor,

My mother is 59 years old. She has hemoglobin 5 and iron 7. Is it dangerous?



Welcome to icliniq.com.

  • It is not dangerous but a serious problem. Normal level of hemoglobin for woman is 12 - 16 g/dL.
  • As your mother's hemoglobin level is 5, it is a very low value and an alarming sign for blood transfusion.
  • Low hemoglobin can lead to general fatigue, weakness, pale skin, shortness of breath, cardiac failure and dizziness.

Low hemoglobin can be caused by various conditions including:

  1. Blood loss and hemolysis (breakdown of RBC - red blood cells).
  2. Lack of nutrients like iron, folic acid and vitamin B12.
  3. Defective production of red blood cell (myelodysplastic syndrome and anemia of chronic disease).
  • Normal iron level is 40 - 155 µg/dL. In your mother's case it is 7, which is low and she may be suffering from iron deficiency anemia.
  • I would suggest you to consult a physician and get her examined and investigated.
  • Some very basic tests include complete blood count, serum iron, serum ferritin, vitamin B12, folic acid, erythrocyte sedimentation rate, reticulocytes, urea, creatinine, urinalysis and a thorough medical history.

The Probable causes:

Iron deficiency anemia.

Treatment plan:

Blood transfusion.

Regarding follow up:

Revert back after the tests to a general medicine physician online.---> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/general-medicine-physician

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