by EBSCO Medical Review Board

A risk factor makes the chances of getting a disease or health problem higher. You can have anemia with or without the ones listed below.

Talk to your doctor about things you can do to lower your risk.

Gender and Age

Low iron is common in women between puberty and menopause. Babies and young children also have a higher risk.


A pregnant woman makes more blood to support a growing baby. This can lead to anemia.


Eating poorly can increase the risk of anemia. Drinking too much tea or eating a lot of wheat-based foods can also increase the risk. These may slow how much iron is taken into the body.

Babies and young children may also not get enough iron from the foods they eat.


Anemia. American Society of Hematology website. Available at: Accessed September 16, 2019.

Anemia. National Heart, Blood and Lung Institute website. Available at: Accessed September 16, 2019.

DeLoughery TG. Iron Deficiency Anemia. Med Clin North Am. 2017 Mar;101(2):319-332.

Iron deficiency anemia in adults. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: . Updated March 14, 2019. Accessed September 16, 2019.

Overview of decreased erythropoiesis. Merck Manual Professional Version website. Available at: Updated July 2018. Accessed September 16, 2019.

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