These factors place you at increased risk of anemia:
Aug. 19, 2014
- A diet lacking in certain vitamins. Choosing a diet that is consistently low in iron, vitamin B-12 and folate increases your risk of anemia.
- Intestinal disorders. Having an intestinal disorder that affects the absorption of nutrients in your small intestine — such as Crohn's disease and celiac disease — puts you at risk of anemia. Surgical removal of or surgery to the parts of your small intestine where nutrients are absorbed can lead to nutrient deficiencies and anemia.
- Menstruation. In general, women who haven't experienced menopause have a greater risk of iron deficiency anemia than do men and postmenopausal women. That's because menstruation causes the loss of red blood cells.
- Pregnancy. If you're pregnant, you're at an increased risk of iron deficiency anemia because your iron stores have to serve your increased blood volume as well as be a source of hemoglobin for your growing baby.
Chronic conditions. For example, if you have cancer, kidney or liver failure, or another chronic condition, you may be at risk of anemia of chronic disease. These conditions can lead to a shortage of red blood cells.
Slow, chronic blood loss from an ulcer or other source within your body can deplete your body's store of iron, leading to iron deficiency anemia.
- Family history. If your family has a history of an inherited anemia, such as sickle cell anemia, you also may be at increased risk of the condition.
- Other factors. A history of certain infections, blood diseases and autoimmune disorders, alcoholism, exposure to toxic chemicals, and the use of some medications can affect red blood cell production and lead to anemia.
- Your guide to anemia. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/. Accessed June 26, 2014.
- Marx JA, et al. Rosen's Emergency Medicine: Concepts and Clinical Practice. 8th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2014. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed June 26, 2014.
- Anemia. American Society of Hematology. http://www.hematology.org/Patients/Anemia/. Accessed June 26, 2014.
- Schrier SL. Approach to the adult patient with anemia. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed June 26, 2014.
- Anemia. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/anemia/. Accessed Feb. 7, 2013.
- Dietary supplement fact sheet: Iron. Office of Dietary Supplements. http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Iron-HealthProfessional/. Accessed May 25, 2014.
- Dietary supplement fact sheet: Folate. Office of Dietary Supplements. http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Folate-HealthProfessional/. Accessed May 25, 2014.
- Dietary supplement fact sheet: Vitamin C. Office of Dietary Supplements. http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminC-HealthProfessional/. Accessed June 26, 2014.
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