Anaemia is a condition in which the number of red blood cells or their oxygen-carrying capacity is insufficient to meet the body’s needs.
Iron deficiency is the most common cause of anaemia globally, although other conditions, such as folate, vitamin B12 and vitamin A deficiencies, chronic inflammation, parasitic infections, and inherited disorders can all cause anaemia.
Globally, anaemia affects 1.6 billion people (25% of the world’s population) and is more common in women, especially during and after pregnancy and associated with heavy periods.
It is also more common in people with a vegetarian or vegan diet and in athletes. Anaemia is also more common in patients with cancer, heart or kidney disease, bowel conditions.