According to the World Heath Organization, iron deficiency anemia contributes to many deaths, especially in developing countries. Twenty percent of maternal deaths have anemia as a contributing factor. It is the most prevalent nutritional deficiency worldwide, playing a major role in poor health and mortality.
The University of Maryland Medical Center explains that, in iron deficiency anemia, there is not enough iron to make hemoglobin for red blood cells. The most common symptoms are lack of strength and fatigue. This condition has several possible causes. Sometimes a person's diet lacks sufficient iron content. Other times the iron is not absorbed properly by the body. Excessive blood loss, found in heavy periods, ulcers and certain cancers, leads to anemia. Occasionally it is an inherited condition.