Iron deficiency anemia

Alternative Names

Anemia – iron deficiency

Definition of Iron deficiency anemia

Anemia is a condition in which the body does not have enough healthy red blood cells. Red blood cells provide oxygen to body tissues. There are many types of anemia. Iron deficiency anemia is a decrease in the number of red cells in the blood caused by too little iron.

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

Iron deficiency anemia is the most common form of . About 20% of women, 50% of pregnant women, and 3% of men do not have enough iron in their body.

Treatment

The cause of the iron deficiency must be found, especially in older patients who face the greatest risk for gastrointestinal cancers.

Expectations (prognosis)

With treatment, the outcome is likely to be good. Usually, blood counts will return to normal in 2 months.

Review

James R. Mason, MD, Oncologist, Director, Blood and Marrow Transplantation Program and Stem Cell Processing Lab, Scripps Clinic, Torrey Pines, California. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc. – 3/21/2010

Reticulocytes
Blood cells

ADAM Medical Encyclopedia

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