45. Nutritional Anemia

  1. Kandice Kottke-Marchant MD, PhD2,3,4 and
  2. Bruce H. Davis MD5
  1. Ralph Green MD, PhD, FRCPath, FCAP, FASCP

Published Online: 8 AUG 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9781444398595.ch45

Laboratory Hematology Practice

Laboratory Hematology Practice

How to Cite

Green, R. (2012) Nutritional Anemia, in Laboratory Hematology Practice (eds K. Kottke-Marchant and B. H. Davis), Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444398595.ch45

Editor Information

  1. 2

    Pathology & Laboratory Medicine Institute, Cleveland, OH, USA

  2. 3

    Department of Pathology, Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine, Cleveland, OH, USA

  3. 4

    Hemostasis and Thrombosis, Department of Clinical Pathology, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH, USA

  4. 5

    Trillium Diagnostics, LLC, Bangor, ME, USA

Author Information

  1. Department of Medical Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of California, Davis School of Medicine, Sacramento, CA, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 8 AUG 2012
  2. Published Print: 10 APR 2012

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781405162180

Online ISBN: 9781444398595



  • nutritional anemia;
  • microcytic anemia;
  • macrocytic anemia;
  • iron deficiency;
  • vitamin B12 deficiency;
  • folate deficiency;
  • copper deficiency;
  • transcobalamin;
  • homocysteine;
  • methylmalonic acid


Nutritional anemias result from a deficiency of one or more nutrients that are required for normal erythropoiesis. The deficiency usually results from inadequate dietary intake or from defective absorption. Deficiency occurs when daily loss or utilization exceeds net input from intake and absorption. This ultimately results in depletion of the body store of the nutrient and failure of normal erythropoiesis. Susceptibility to nutritional anemia varies according to age and is influenced by increased physiologic needs as occur during pregnancy, lactation, and periods of growth. Pathologic conditions can also result in either excessive loss or increased demand for nutrients. Other hematologic or nonhematologic complications of nutrient deficiency may accompany the anemia. Several disorders can closely resemble nutritional anemias. The most common nutritional anemias result from iron, vitamin B12 or folate deficiency. Less commonly anemia can be caused by deficiency of vitamins A and E, thiamine, pyridoxine, and copper.