Folate-deficiency anemia

Definition of Folate-deficiency anemia

Folate-deficiency anemia is a decrease in red blood cells () due to a lack of folate.

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

Folate, also called folic acid, is necessary for red blood cell formation and growth. You can get folate by eating green leafy vegetables and liver. Because folate is not stored in the body in large amounts, you need to get a continual supply of this vitamin through diet to maintain normal levels.


The goal is to identify and treat the cause of the folate deficiency.

Expectations (prognosis)

Anemia usually responds well to treatment within 2 months.


Yi-Bin Chen, MD, Leukemia/Bone Marrow Transplant Program, Massachusetts General Hospital. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc. – 1/31/2010

Megaloblastic anemia - view of red blood cells
Blood cells

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