Anemia is the most common blood disorder in the United States; it affects more than 3 million Americans of a wide range of ages, races, and ethnicity. Anemia is identified by low levels of red blood cells in the blood. Red blood cells (RBCs) deliver oxygen from the lungs to other parts of the body. A low RBC count means a lack of oxygen in the body, which causes symptoms like weakness, shortness of breath, dizziness, headache, cold hands or feet, and pale or yellow skin.
Anemia affects a wide range of people but what are some major risk factors?
- Menstruation. Young women are twice as likely to have anemia as young men because of the blood loss due to regular menstrual bleeding.
- Pregnancy. Pregnant women are at high risk for anemia because the increase in the amount of blood in the body during pregnancy elevates the required amounts of iron and vitamin.
- Autoimmune disorders. Crohn disease, systemic lupus erythematosus, rheumatoid arthritis, and ulcerative colitis are all conditions that can lead to hemolytic anemia, a breakdown of red blood cells in the bloodstream or spleen.
- Chronic kidney disease. When impaired, kidneys don’t produce enough of the hormone that signals bone marrow to make more red blood cells.
- Cancer. Chemotherapy impairs the body’s ability to make new red blood cells, and anemia often results from this treatment.
- Gastric bypass surgery. The surgery can lead to iron-deficiency anemia due to poor absorption.
Are you interested in an Anemia research study? Contact Segal Institute at 1-877-SEGAL-88 to see if you qualify or visit our studies here.