Iron deficiency anemia exists throughout the world, and pregnant women and infants 6-24 months old are at highest risk because of their high iron requirements. Women of reproductive age, school-age children, and adolescents are also high-risk groups that may require attention in anemia control programs. Although numerous indicators exist to characterize the progression of iron deficiency to anemia, difficulties remain with their use and interpretation, particularly in the face of other causes of anemia. Despite the proven efficacy of iron supplementation and fortification to improve iron status, there are few examples of effective anemia prevention programs. More innovative programmatic approaches that aim to improve iron status, such as geohelminth control or prevention of other micronutrient deficiencies, deserve more attention. Challenges remain in preventing and controlling iron deficiency anemia worldwide.

See also: Adolescents: Nutritional Requirements. Breast Feeding. Children: Nutritional Requirements. Folic Acid. Infants: Nutritional Requirements. Iron. Lactation: Dietary Requirements. Pregnancy: Nutrient Requirements.

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