Can dietary iron deficiency alone cause iron deficiency anemia?

Updated: Aug 04, 2019
  • Author: James L Harper, MD; Chief Editor: Emmanuel C Besa, MD  more...
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Answer

A fundamental concept is that after age 1 year, dietary deficiency alone is not sufficient to cause clinically significant iron deficiency, so a source of blood loss should always be sought as part of the management of a patient with iron deficiency anemia. Infants and toddlers are the primary risk groups for dietary iron deficiency anemia. Neonates who double their birthweight are a special risk group. Also see Pediatric Acute Anemia and Pediatric Chronic Anemia.


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