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Poor diet connected to increased anemia risk in post-menopausal women

Category: Anemia and RBC disorders

Post-menopausal women who eat a poor diet are significantly more likely to receive a low iron blood test or diagnosis of anemia, which puts them at an elevated risk for a number of complications, according to a new study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association.

The University of Arizona researchers said that iron deficiencies have been linked to decreased work ability, physical inactivity, injury requiring hospitalization and death, all of which makes the finding more pressing for women in the age group.

For the study, researchers examined the findings of an earlier survey of nearly 73,000 women. The questionnaire asked participants about diet and whether they had any diagnosed medical conditions.

The results showed that women who ate poorer diets, as defined by eating few nutritious foods, were significantly more likely to suffer from anemia. Deficiencies of iron, folate, vitamin B, protein, vitamin C and red meat were the most common causes of anemia.

"This study suggests that inadequate nutrient intakes are a significant risk factor for anemia in this population of older women and use of multivitamin/mineral supplements is not associated with lower rates of anemia," reports lead investigator Cynthia A. Thomson.

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