Anemia is a health condition that presents itself when there is a deficiency in the amount of red blood cells or hemoglobin that can be found in the blood. One of the easiest and most common ways to develop anemia is through a lack of iron. When this happens, people will begin to feel tired, weary, and may even have skin that is a paler shade than normal.
Statistics on Iron Deficiency Anemia
1. The number of visits to emergency departments with anemia as the primary diagnosis: 209,000.
2. 9.6% of people who live in an assisted living or residential care setting are diagnosed with anemia.
3. The average length of stay for someone diagnosed with anemia as their first-listed diagnosis: 4.1 days.
4. Based on the body iron model, 14% of children under the age of 2 are considered to be anemic.
5. Routine iron supplementation is recommended for high-risk infants six to 12 months of age.
6. The number of deaths that are annually attributed to iron deficiency anemia every year: 4,988.
7. In developing countries every second pregnant woman and about 40% of preschool children are estimated to be anemic.
8. Anemia is aggravated by worm infections, malaria and other infectious diseases such as HIV and tuberculosis.
9. Iron deficiency affects more people than any other condition.
10. 10% of persons aged 65 and older have anemia and those in this age demographic with this condition are 2x more likely to be hospitalized for a fall.
11. 80% of chemotherapy patients have severe anemia.
12. Up to 48% of heart failure patients may also have iron deficiency anemia.
13. 1 out of every 5 women who become pregnant will struggle with anemia at some point during their pregnancy.
14. Up to 12% of the women in the 12-49 age demographic will need to be treated for anemia at least once in their lives.
15. The percentage of adult men who suffer from iron deficiency anemia: 2%.
16. Nearly 20% of African American and Mexican-American women are suffering from iron deficiency anemia at any given time.
17. In the United States, approximately 700,000 toddlers and 7.8 million women are either living with iron deficiency or will be diagnosed with it in the coming year.
18. The number of discharges with anemia as first-listed diagnosis in the United States annually: 392,000.
19. Iron comprises 5% of the earth’s crust and four general categories of proteins contain iron.
20. 30%–50% of anemia in children and other groups is caused by iron deficiency.
21. With an estimated 1.6 billion people globally suffering from anemia, several hundred million routinely manifest iron deficiency anemia.
22. 40%–50% of the population in developing nations remain anemic at all ages with the exception of non-elderly men.
Seek Help As Soon As Possible
If you suspect anemia, then it is important to seek the help of a medical professional right away. This is because there are over 400 different types of anemia that exist in humans today. It can because by blood loss, faulty red blood cell production, or the simple destruction of your red blood cells. Something as simple as an ulcer or hemorrhoids can lead to conditions that can cause anemia. Even the use of ibuprofen over a prolonged period of time is enough to make someone anemic.
Women who are in their childbearing years have a particular issue with anemia. This is because of the natural patterns of menstruation and the need for more blood if a pregnancy should occur. Those who have a poor diet, chronic medical conditions, or a serious disease like cancer also face a high risk of developing anemia. As these statistics will show, the good news is that iron deficiency anemia is easily treatable with diet changes, exercise, and an iron supplement.
Those Mostly Affected
Although men can be anemic, this is a health issue that is facing women and children today like no other health epidemic before. People are just not getting enough iron in their diet.
Why is this happening? After all, there is plenty of iron that is in the earth’s crust, right? Iron can even be found in animal protein. The problem is how we are cooking our food. The dietary choices that we make every day can dramatically reduce the amount of iron that can be found in our blood. When we cook animal proteins so that they are overdone, we have virtually eliminated all of the iron content that is in that protein. The same is true with fruits and vegetables that are cooked in certain ways so that the vitamins and minerals break down and are part of the food when we eat them.
In developing nations, the opposite is true. People don’t have enough food to eat and this is causing their iron deficiency anemia. When the effects of chronic disease compound the treatment efforts of this health issue, anemia becomes almost impossible to effectively treat without dramatic health interventions that are not usually present in the developing world.
For many people today, the fastest way to solve an iron deficiency problem is to take a multivitamin that contains the daily recommended dose of iron. Specific iron supplements are also available for those who are chronically deficient in this necessary item. Improving the way we cook and eat foods, plus adding some exercise into the daily routine, can also help to build up iron reserves within the blood so anemia no longer needs to be an issue.
Iron deficiency anemia might be a worldwide epidemic, but it is one that is easy to fix. The first step is to make sure that you are healthy. The next step is to take an effort at resolving the food shortages that exist in the world today. If the world can produce enough calories for everyone as it stands right now, there is no good reason for anyone to be hungry and have the lack of food cause iron deficiency.