Résumé : Anemia is common in the elderly, especially in very old patients who are often frail and may be institutionalized. Senescence, the ageing process, puts the elderly at risk of developing anemia for multiple reasons, but anemia may not be attributed to senescence unless a thorough diagnostic workup has excluded other etiologies. Nutritional deficiencies are common and need to be identified and treated appropriately. Inflammatory diseases and renal failure are also frequent etiological factors and tend to be chronic. Myelodysplastic syndromes increase in frequency with age and may be difficult to diagnose and only a minority of cases respond to appropriate treatment. Anemia is associated with poor outcome and symptomatic treatment with transfusions frequently has to be considered. Red blood cell transfusion has a high therapeutic index and is likely to be effective only if anemia is symptomatic or particularly severe, as a consequence, its use has been restricted to this group. Much of the evidence on usage is limited to younger adults and specific clinical situations. Geriatricians have to deal with a large number of patients with significant anemia but with an absence of well constructed guidelines for the frail and the very old. The object of the present article is to raise awareness that anemia in the geriatric group is multi-factorial and that the patients are more than merely older than those included in most studies, that the results of ongoing trials should be appropriately interpreted and will be important in guiding future practice.