Who Is Most at Risk for Iron Deficiency Anemia?

There are different types of anemia, but iron deficiency anemia is most common.

Those most at risk include:

Women. “By far, women are more at risk of iron deficiency, which can start with the onset of menstrual cycles,” Dr. Lustig says. Women also are at a greater risk of auto immune disorders and hypothyroidism, which may cause anemia. Pregnant women may need iron supplements, as well as babies who are solely breast-fed after six months.

Older adults. As you age, your appetite typically decreases. Your more meager meals may lack good sources of iron.

Those taking certain medicines. Medicines and treatments that can rob the body of iron include: blood thinners, such as aspirin or prescription medicine, such as Coumadin® (Warfarin). Chemotherapy and other cancer-targeted therapies can also strip away iron.

Those with a chronic illness. Illnesses that cause blood loss, such as ulcers and colon cancer, are sometimes the underlying cause of an iron deficiency.

* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.