Risk Factors for Nutritional Anemia
A risk factor is something that increases your likelihood of getting a disease or condition.
It is possible to develop a nutritional anemia with or without the risk factors listed below. However, the more risk factors you have, the greater your likelihood of developing a nutritional anemia. If you have a number of risk factors, ask your doctor what you can do to reduce your risk.
Gender and Age
Women between puberty and menopause are at higher risk for iron deficiency anemia than men and women of other age groups. Pregnancy also places extra iron demands on women. A folic acid supplement is usually included in a standard prenatal vitamin. Check with your doctor. The supplement is recommended for every pregnant woman, as much to prevent neural tube defects in the baby as to guard against folic acid anemia in the mom. Infants and young children are at risk of iron deficiency anemia.
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Unusually poor diets, such as in advanced alcoholics, can increase the risk of folic acid deficiency anemia. In addition, excess consumption of tea or foods made from wheat may decrease the absorption of iron. The diets of infants and young children can be deficient in iron.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/ .
Iron fortification of infant formulas. American Acadamy of Pediatrics website. Available at: http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/cgi/content/full/104/1/119 . Accessed February 2007.
National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute website. Available at: http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/ .
Last reviewed June 2008 by
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