Anemia, Iron Deficiency
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- Deficiency in red blood cells, hemoglobin, or blood volume due to decreased iron stores
- Onset may be acute, with rapid blood loss, or chronic, with nutrition derangement or slow blood loss.
- System(s) affected: Heme; Lymphatic; Immunologic
- Synonym(s): Anemia of chronic blood loss; Hypochromic; Microcytic anemia; Chlorosis
60% of anemias occur in people >65 years of age.
Problematic in infants whose major source of nutrition is unfortified cow's milk and/or juices
Iron supplements (15–30 mg/d) are recommended during pregnancy.
- Iron deficiency anemia (IDA) is the most common cause of anemia in the US.
- Predominant age: All ages, but especially toddlers and menstruating women
- Predominant sex: Female > Male
- More likely in the poor and in underimmunized children
- Adults: Men 2%, women 15–20% annually
- Infants and toddlers: 3–5% annually
- Pregnant patients: Unclear; maybe as high 20% (pseudoanemia common during pregnancy as plasma volume expands faster than red cell mass)
- Premenopausal woman
- Frequent blood donor
- Pregnancy and breastfeeding
- Strict vegan diet
- Use of NSAIDs
Depletion of iron stores leads to decrease in both reticulocyte count and production of hemoglobin.
- Blood loss (e.g., menses, GI bleeding, trauma)
- Poor iron intake
- Poor iron absorption (e.g., atrophic gastritis, postgastrectomy, celiac disease)
- Increased demand for iron (e.g., infancy, adolescence, pregnancy, and breastfeeding)
Commonly Associated Conditions
- GI tract malignancy, peptic ulcer disease (PUD), Helicobacter pylori infection, irritable bowel disease
- Hookworm or other parasitic infestations