Types of Anemia

There are several different types and various causes of anemia. Some of the most common types are summarized below.


Iron-deficiency Anemia (IDA)
Iron deficiency is the most common and widespread nutritional disorder in the world. As well as affecting a large number of children and women in developing countries, it is the only nutrient deficiency which is also significantly prevalent in industrialized countries.2

IDA is usually caused by insufficient dietary intake and absorption of iron or by iron loss resulting from bleeding from a variety of sources, such as the intestines, uterus, or urinary tract.8

Megaloblastic Anemia
Low levels of vitamin B12 or folate are the most common causes of this type of anemia.3 The prevalence of megaloblastic anemia is rather low, affecting fewer than 200,000 people in the U.S. Megaloblastic anemia is usually caused by a deficiency of folic acid or vitamin B12.9


Pernicious Anemia
Pernicious anemia, a form of megaloblastic anemia, is a rare disorder in which the body does not absorb enough vitamin B12 from the digestive tract, resulting in inadequate production of red blood cells. It is also referred to as vitamin B12-deficient anemia.


1 WHO Global database on Anemia
2 www.who.int/nutrition/topics/ida/en/index.html
3 www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency
4 www.labtestsonline.org
5 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hemopexin
6 http://healthengine.com.au/info/Red_Cell_Folate_Test
7 http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003705.htm
8 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iron_deficiency_anemia
9 http://www.rightdiagnosis.com/m/megaloblastic_anemia/prevalence.htm