What is the usual cause of iron deficiency anemia in the US?

Updated: Nov 26, 2019
  • Author: Joseph E Maakaron, MD; Chief Editor: Emmanuel C Besa, MD  more...
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Iron deficiency anemia in an adult in the United States should be attributed to bleeding unless other causes can be proved. Aside from recent multiparity, other causes are relatively uncommon and include prolonged dietary idiosyncrasies (eg, clay eating, laundry starch consumption, protein deprivation for several years), urinary loss of iron due to intravascular hemolysis (eg, artificial aortic valves, paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria), gastrectomy or other upper GI surgery, and upper GI disease.

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