A recent study confirms that eating a poor diet diet for postmenopausal women can lead to anemia.
In this US study of the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI), 93,67 older women between the ages of 50 and 79 were tested for vitamin deficiencies. Researchers found that postmenopausal women who were deficient in one vitamin were 21% more likely to have anemia, while the risk for developing anemia in older women who had a vitamin deficiency of 3 minerals increased by 44%.
According to the April issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, older women with with anemia eat less vitamins like vitamin B12, folate, vitamin C and iron; they also consume less protein, in particular red meat, which is an essential source of vitamin B12.
- Caucasians were least likely to consume proper nutrition, according to this study, demonstrating a rate of only 7.4 %, where other racial groups ranged from a 14%-15% likelihood to be consuming a poor diet which would ultimately lead to symptoms of anemia.
- Other factors which contribute to symptoms of anemia in women include age, body mass index and smoking.
- A high correlation exists between anemia and increased risk for premature death; anemia reduces one’s ability for physical exertion and increases one’s likelihood to be hospitalized for injuries resulting from falls.
- Vitamin B12 deficiency can lead to pernicious anemia, but may be averted by vitamin B12 supplements.
Says Cynthia A. Thomson, associate professor of nutritional sciences at the University of Arizona and author of this study, “Additional efforts to regularly evaluate postmenopausal women for anemia should be considered and should be accompanied by an assessment of dietary intake to determine adequacy of intake of anemia-associated nutrients, including iron, vitamin B12 and folate.”