7 Risk Factors That Could Lead to Anemia

Anemia is a condition that develops when your blood lacks the necessary amount of red blood cells or hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is the main part of a red blood cell and has the important role of binding oxygen. If either your red blood cell count or hemoglobin count is too low, this may cause the cells in your body to not get the proper oxygen to do their job. As a result, anemia may result in your organs not getting the proper nutrients and blood supply to function properly.

Anemia is the most common blood disorder, and according to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, it affects more than 3 million Americans.

Risk factors for anemia

There are seven main risk factors to consider that could eventually lead to anemia:

1. Frequently donating blood

Although donating blood is great and often encouraged, doing it too many times in a short span of time can negatively affect your own health. Remember to always donate within frequencies — having a set schedule is the best way to do so to maintain your own safety.

2. Age

Young children require more iron and growth for development. This is why consuming dairy and following a proper nutritional diet is key when younger children are developing. Getting less than the recommended value of iron and vitamins could lead to anemia in the long run.

Teenagers are also at a slightly higher risk due to their tendency to disregard sleep. A lack of sleep can cause more stress on the body in the long run and can cause anemia.

3. Menstruation

Any woman who is still viable to have menstruation is at a higher risk of iron deficiency anemia than men or postmenopausal men. Menstruation causes the loss of red blood cells, placing you at an increased risk for the condition.

4. Pregnancy and childbearing years

Due to the excessive blood loss through menstruation and greater demands of blood supply for a developing fetus, pregnant women tend to suffer more from anemia and have a higher chance of getting the condition due to iron-deficiency.

5. Malnourishment

Although younger children are more prone to anemia, anyone who is consistently lacking the essential nutrients and minerals in their body can develop anemia. This is especially true for people who are malnourished in developing nations. Getting the proper amount of nutrients and minerals daily will help those fighting this condition.

6. Victims of sickle cell

Sickle cell anemia is when the patient’s red blood cells are misshaped and cause them to get stuck in smaller blood vessels. Unfortunately for victims of sickle cell, they will most certainly already have some level of anemia by default.

7. Family history

Although you may keep your body nourished properly, having a family member with anemia places you at an inheritably higher risk of the condition when compared to someone who does not have any family history with the disease. Unfortunately, anemia is a possibly inherited disease, placing your risk levels a bit higher than the rest.

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