Iron deficiency is the most common cause of anemia, and poses a significant threat to human health and quality of life outcomes. Iron deficiency anemia can be caused by insufficient dietary intake or impaired absorption, or from unmet needs of increased iron requirements in specific population groups. Women of reproductive age experience the highest iron demands, particularly during pregnancy and lactation and due to menstrual blood losses, followed by children during growth spurts.

Iron deficits can arise if dietary iron intake cannot meet physiological requirements or cannot replace iron that has been lost due to illness or menstruation.

Inadequate iron absorption can result from infection and inflammation, as well as gastrointestinal diseases and their treatment, but it can also be due to the composition of the diet when it contains large amounts of food components that inhibit iron absorption (e.g., coffee and tea, and phytates from whole grains) and/or low amounts of food components that enhance iron absorption (e.g., vitamin C, and meat).

We found 8 resource(s)

Maternal Anemia during Pregnancy and Small for Gestational Age: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
Systematic Review published by The Journal of Maternal-Fetal and Neonatal Medicine in
This systematic review aims to determine the relationship between maternal anemia during pregnancy and newborns small for gestational age. The review considers 10 studies including more than 600,000 pregnant women and identifies a nonsignificant relationship between maternal anemia during pregnancy and small-for-gestational-age births. Maternal…
Six Key Actions to Reduce Anemia
Toolkit published by SPRING in
This brief describes country-led efforts to coordinate and implement anemia prevention and control, offering lessons learned to help other countries design the best possible solutions.
Changing the Way We Think About Micronutrient Assessment and Anemia Programming
Brief published by SPRING in
The Biomarkers Reflecting Inflammation and Nutritional Determinants of Anemia (BRINDA) project set out to improve the interpretation of iron and vitamin A biomarker results and our understanding of the main risk factors for anemia. The BRINDA findings indicate the importance of applying adjustments for inflammation to iron and vitamin A biomarkers…
Iron Deficiency Anaemia in Pregnancy: The Role of Parenteral Iron
Literature Review published by Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology in
This review presents evidence on the impact on maternal mortality of iron–folic acid supplementation from observational studies that were analyzed for the Global Burden of Disease analysis in 2004, and summarizes the evidence from other reviews on this topic.
Impact of Increasing Inter-pregnancy Interval on Maternal and Infant Health
Systematic Review published by Paediatric and Perinatal Epidemiology in
The objective of this systematic review was to assess the impact of increasing interpregnancy intervals (the time between the birth of a previous child and conception of the next child), defined as the time from birth to conception, on maternal and child health outcomes in any setting. The authors found too few higher-quality studies of the impact…
Effects of Birth Spacing on Maternal, Perinatal, Infant, and Child Health: A Systematic Review of Causal Mechanisms
Systematic Review published by Studies in Family Planning in
This systematic review of 58 observational studies identified hypothetical causal mechanisms explaining the effects of short and long intervals between pregnancies on maternal, perinatal, infant, and child health.
Iron Deficiency Anaemia
Literature Review published by Food and Nutrition Bulletin in
This book chapter provides a comprehensive review of the literature linking iron deficiency to disability and death, including child mortality, perinatal mortality, maternal mortality, and mild mental retardation outcomes. The authors suggest that iron deficiency anemia contributes substantially to global death and disability, with a great…
Prediction of Dietary Iron Absorption: An Algorithm for Calculating Absorption and Bioavailability of Dietary Iron
Journal Article published by American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in
This study presents an algorithm that was developed for predicting the effects of factors known to influence heme- and non-heme-iron absorption from meals and diets.