What is the prognosis of chronic iron deficiency anemia?

Updated: Sep 07, 2019
  • Author: James L Harper, MD; Chief Editor: Emmanuel C Besa, MD  more...
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Chronic iron deficiency anemia is seldom a direct cause of death; however, moderate or severe iron deficiency anemia can produce sufficient hypoxia to aggravate underlying pulmonary and cardiovascular disorders. Hypoxic deaths have been observed in patients who refuse blood transfusions for religious reasons. Obviously, with brisk hemorrhage, patients may die from hypoxia related to posthemorrhagic anemia.

Whereas a number of symptoms, such as ice chewing and leg cramps, occur with iron deficiency, the major debility of moderately severe iron deficiency is fatigue and muscular dysfunction that impairs muscular work performance.

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