Am I at Risk for Iron Deficiency Anemia?
Just about anyone can develop an iron deficiency. However, women and children as well as people who follow a vegetarian diet, are at the greatest risks for iron deficiency anemia.
- Women lose iron-rich blood during menstruation and they have higher iron needs during pregnancy.
- Babies (especially low-birth weight or premature babies) may not get enough iron from breast milk or formula.
- Young children need extra iron because of their rapid growth.
- Vegetarians are at greater risk of iron deficiency because they don't eat meat.
Finally, certain conditions that cause bleeding within the body can increase the risk of iron deficiency. These conditions include an ulcer, bleeding tumor, uterine fibroid or certain kinds of cancers.