This pernicious anemia research paper provides crucial information about the incidence, prevalence, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of pernicious anemia. Pernicious anemia is the end stage of type A atrophic gastritis affecting the greater curvature and body of the stomach . The condition results from deficient dietary intake, or, particularly among older patients, poor absorption of vitamin B-12 (cobalamin) . Pernicious anemia presents in individuals lacking the ability to produce the glycoprotein known as Castle’s intrinsic factor, which is essential for the absorption of vitamin B-12.
It is widely believed that the actions of autoantibodies disable secretion of the intrinsic factor by the parietal cells of the stomach . Consequently, vitamin B-12 is prevented from binding with the instrinsic factor for absorption by the distal ileum. The lesion associated with pernicious anemia may endure for 2 to 3 decades before a clinical diagnosis of the disorder is made. A relatively uncommon acquired disease, pernicious anemia usually becomes symptomatic after the age of 50 years . The disorder is most common in individuals of Northern European ancestry, particularly those originating in Scandinavia. Among individuals over the age of 60 years, approximately 1 in 100 have pernicious anemia.
In fact, however, most seemingly susceptible individuals do not develop pernicious anemia: for every person who manifests symptoms associated with the condition, there are about 10 other generally healthy individuals who never develop the clinical features associated with pernicious anemia—despite low serum concentration and impaired absorption of cobalamin, gastric atrophy, histamine-fast achlorhydria . Thus, although all patients with untreated pernicious anemia manifest with low serum cobalamin concentrations, such a finding is also fairly common among healthy individuals and is typically not associated with symptoms. Moreover, more than 50 percent of vegetarians who consume milk as their main form of animal protein present with low serum cobalamin concentrations, and low concentrations are also occasionally observed in individuals consuming a mixed diet, with normal blood counts, and normal absorption of cobalamin .