Risk Factors for Iron Deficiency

By  , Expert Content
Mar 15, 2013

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Risk Factors for Iron Deficiency

Iron deficiency is a common cause of anaemia and anyone can develop it but certain factors increase your risk of developing iron deficiency anaemia. Read to know more on risk factors for iron deficiency anaemia.


[Read: Who is at Risk for Anemia?]

Women: Pre-menopausal women (i.e. in childbearing age) are at higher risk of developing iron-deficiency anaemia, especially if they have:

  • poor nutritional intake
  • history of menorrhagia (heavy blood loss during periods)
  • history of iron-deficiency anaemia


Infants and Young Children: Infants and young children are at higher risk of developing iron deficiency anaemia as their diet is often deficient in iron. Children can be fussy eaters which can cause poor nutritional intake and cow’s milk which is a predominant food in infants has low iron content. Hence cow's milk should not be given to babies in their first year and iron-fortified infant milk formula is recommended.


[Read: Low Vitamin D linked to Iron Deficiency in Children]

Pregnancy: Pregnant women are at risk of developing anaemia. Pregnant women need iron supplements to prevent iron deficiency.


[Read:Symptoms of Anemia during Pregnancy]

Vegetarians: People who don't eat animal meat based foods are probably at greater risk of iron deficiency anaemia as iron from non-meat foods is not as well absorbed as iron from animal food products. If you are a vegetarian, consult your doctor regarding iron rich foods and if needed iron supplements.

Frequent blood donors: People who donate blood regularly are at an increased risk of iron deficiency anaemia. Blood donation causes depletion of iron stores and if you do not take iron rich foods and supplements you may develop iron deficiency anaemia.



Read more articles on Iron Deficiency.



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