The purpose of this trial is to examine whether Epoetin Alfa, a hormone stimulating
production of red blood cells, can reverse idiopathic anemia.
As individuals become older, the frequency of anemia increases. While the cause of anemia in
many cases can be determined and corrected, in a number of individuals there is no
correctable cause found and the patient must live with their anemia. This is known as
idiopathic anemia, and can have serious consequences for the individual. Numerous studies
have demonstrated that anemia is associated with loss of energy and stamina, causing
individuals to decrease their activities, which adversely affects both their sense of
well-being as well as their physical strength. Losses in these areas are associated with the
clinical manifestations of frailty.
The current pilot study will examine whether or not administration of Epoetin Alfa, a
hormone stimulating production of red blood cells, can reverse this type of anemia. We will
examine the consequences of reversing the anemia in terms of physical strength and function,
cardiovascular function and sense of well-being and mental function.
In this study, individuals with anemia will be treated for six months with Epoetin Alfa
following the correction of their anemia and measurements done to evaluate physical
strength, performance, cardiac, mental and kidney function. At the end of treatment,
individuals will be followed for an additional six months to determine whether the anemia
recurs and physical function decreases.
Participation in this study is voluntary. All testing and medication received are free to
- 70 years of age or older
- Diagnosed with anemia
- Hemoglobin level less than or equal to 11
- Able to perform most activities of daily living without restriction
- History of serious heart, liver or kidney disease
- Cancer treated within the last year except for skin cancer (excluding melanoma)
- Problems with your immune system
- Received Epoetin Alfa within the last year