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Characteristics and outcome of immune thrombocytopenia in elderly: results from a single center case-controlled study.

The management of ITP in elderly raises several questions that have not been fully addressed in the literature. To assess the impact of ITP in elderly, a case-control study was performed. The main characteristics at onset and the outcome of ITP in 55 patients aged of 70 years and above (cases) were compared with those of 97 younger adults (controls) seen at the same tertiary referral institution. The mean age at diagnosis was respectively 77.8±6.1 years (cases) and 40.3±14.9 years (controls). While the median platelet count at time of diagnosis was not significantly different in cases and controls (6×10(9) /L, range: 2-26 versus 12×10(9) /L: 5-21.5), bleeding symptoms were more frequent in cases (82%) than in the controls (68%, p=0.07), and the median bleeding score was significantly higher in elderly (p=0.001). The rate of treatment-related adverse events was more than twofold higher in elderly patients and the mean cumulative duration of hospital stay for ITP during the follow-up period was much longer when compared to the controls (p<0.0001). Three ITP-related deaths (5.4%) including 1 from intracranial hemorrhage occurred in the cases but none in the controls. In conclusion, this study confirms that at equivalent platelet count, ITP has a greater impact in elderly.

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