Risk factorsBy Mayo Clinic staff
These groups of people may have an increased risk of iron deficiency anemia:
- Women. Because women lose blood during menstruation, women in general are at greater risk of iron deficiency anemia.
- Infants and children. Infants, especially those who were low birth weight or born prematurely, who don't get enough iron from breast milk or formula may be at risk of iron deficiency. Children need extra iron during growth spurts. If your child isn't eating a healthy, varied diet, he or she may be at risk of anemia.
- Vegetarians. People who don't eat meat may have a greater risk of iron deficiency anemia if they don't eat other iron-rich foods.
- Frequent blood donors. People who routinely donate blood may have an increased risk of iron deficiency anemia, since blood donation can deplete iron stores. Low hemoglobin related to blood donation may be a temporary problem remedied by eating more iron-rich foods. If you're told that you can't donate blood because of low hemoglobin, ask your doctor whether you should be concerned.
- Brittenham GM. Disorders of iron metabolism: Iron deficiency and iron overload. In: Hoffman R, et al. Hematology: Basic Principles and Practice. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier; 2009. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/about.do?about=true&eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-443-06715-0..X5001-8--TOP&isbn=978-0-443-06715-0&uniqId=230100505-56. Accessed Jan. 24, 2011.
- Iron-deficiency anemia. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/dci/Diseases/ida/ida_all.html. Accessed Jan. 24, 2011.
- Iron-deficiency anemia. American Society of Hematology. http://www.hematology.org/Patients/Blood-Disorders/Anemia/5263.aspx. Accessed Jan. 24, 2011.
- Laboratory reference values. Hematology group. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; January 2011.
- Reiss RF, et al. Current concerns for blood donor well-being and health. Southern Medical Journal. 2010;103:343.