Iron Deficiency Anemia Prevalence

Iron Deficiency Anemia Prevalence

Although the prevalence of iron deficiency anemia has decreased since the 1970s, it is still a concern for infants, children, women of childbearing age, pregnant women, certain ethnic groups, and low-income people.1-5

General population

Data from a nationally representative study, the third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (2003-2006), showed that 9% of nonpregnant women between age 12 and 49 had iron deficiency anemia. This means approximately 8 to 10 million women in the United States may have IDA.3


The prevalence of IDA varies depending on the subset of the population discussed. For example, studies in the US and abroad have found IDA is more common among female military recruits than male recruits, and the rates are highest among black, non-Hispanic female recruits. These findings are consistent with national studies.6

1 US National Archives and Records Administration. Rules and regulations. Iron-containing supplements and drugs: label warning statements and unit-dose packaging requirements. Fed Regist. 1997;62(10):2239.

2 Looker AC, Dallman PR, Carroll MD, Gunter EW, Johnson CL. Prevalence of iron deficiency in the United States. JAMA. 1997;277(12):973-976.

3 Anemia or iron deficiency, United States. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Web site. Accessed April 3, 2013.

4 Dietary supplement fact sheet: iron. National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements Web site. Updated August 24, 2007. Accessed April 3, 2013.

5 Killip S, Bennett JM, Chambers MD. Iron deficiency anemia. Am Fam Physician. 2007;75(5):671-678.

6 Armed Forces Health Surveillance Center (AFHSC). Iron deficiency anemia, active component, US Armed Forces, 2002-2011. MSMR. 2012; 19(7):17-21.