Iron deficiency anemia may be caused by chronic blood loss from gastrointestinal, urinary, or genital tract bleeding or from more short-term causes such as surgery or frequent blood donation.1 The most common cause of IDA in males is bleeding in the gastrointestinal tract, and in females, it is abnormal bleeding from the genital tract.2 Menstrual blood loss is one of the most common causes of IDA in women of childbearing age.2
1 Barton JC. Iron deficiency. In: Rakel RE, Bope ET, eds. Conn’s Current Therapy. Amsterdam, the Netherlands: Saunders/Elsevier; 2008:385-389.
2 Zhu A, Kaneshiro M, Kaunitz JD. Evaluation and treatment of iron deficiency anemia: a gastroenterological perspective. Dig Dis Sci. 2010;55(3):548-559.