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Effects of Aging on the Blood

By Alan E. Lichtin, MD, Associate Professor;Staff Hematologist-Oncologist, Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine;Cleveland Clinic

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Aging has some effect on bone marrow and blood cells. The amount of fat in the marrow increases with age, which means there is less cell-producing marrow. While this decrease generally does not cause problems, it may when the body experiences an increased demand for blood cells: the marrow of an older person may be less able to meet those increased demands. Anemia is the most common result.