Anemia (pronounced /əˈniːmiə/, also spelled anaemia and anæmia; from Ancient Greek ἀναιμία anaimia, meaning lack of blood) is a decrease in number of red blood cells (RBCs) or less than the normal quantity of hemoglobin in the blood. However, it can include decreased oxygen-binding ability of each hemoglobin molecule due to deformity or lack in numerical development as in some other types of hemoglobin deficiency.

Low dietary iron intake through inadequate diet is an important risk factor for anemia for those with “food insecurity” in the United States1 and in developing countries2. “The increased risk of premature delivery, low birthweight, fetal abnormalities, and fetal death is directly related to the degree of maternal anemia2.” 

Page last edited: 08 May 2011


  1. Park, K. Kersey, M. Geppert, J. Story, M. Cutts, D. Himes, J. H. Household food insecurity is a risk factor for iron-deficiency anaemia in a multi-ethnic, low-income sample of infants and toddlers. Public Health Nutr. 2009 Nov; 12 (11): 2120-8.
  2. Fleming, A. F. Iron deficiency in the tropics. Clin Haematol. 1982 Jun; 11 (2): 365-88.