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Causes and diagnosis of iron deficiency and iron deficiency anemia in adults

Stanley L Schrier, MD
Section Editor
William C Mentzer, MD
Deputy Editor
Jennifer S Tirnauer, MD


The diagnosis of iron deficiency is a major public health goal and an important aspect of the care of many adults. This topic will review the causes of iron deficiency in adults and an approach to the diagnostic evaluation. Treatment of iron deficiency in adults is discussed separately. (See "Treatment of iron deficiency anemia in adults".)

Iron deficiency in other populations is presented in separate topic reviews:

Children, diagnosis and prevention of iron deficiency – (See "Iron deficiency in infants and children <12 years: Screening, prevention, clinical manifestations, and diagnosis".)

Children, treatment of iron deficiency – (See "Iron deficiency in infants and children <12 years: Treatment".)

Adolescents, diagnosis and treatment of iron deficiency – (See "Iron requirements and iron deficiency in adolescents".)

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Literature review current through: Sep 2017. | This topic last updated: Jan 10, 2017.
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