Postmenopausal women with a poor diet are at an increased risk of developing
anemia. As compared to the diet of healthy women, it has been seen that the
diet of anemic women was deficient in protein, iron, folate, vitamin B12 and
vitamin C. Researchers studied about 72,833 postmenopausal women in US and found
that even a single nutrient deficiency increases the risk of anemia by 21%,
while deficiency of 3 nutrients increased the risk up to 44%.
Researchers also found a relation between inadequate nutrient intake and ethnicity, with nutrient deficiency being prevalent among 7.4% whites, 14.6% of Asian/Pacific Islanders, 15.2% of Native Americans/Alaskans, 15.3% of blacks and 16.3% of Hispanics. This difference is due to the difference in the dietary intake. Multi-vitamin and mineral supplementation does not decrease the risk of anemia.
Iron deficiency anemia has been associated with an increased risk of death as it reduces an individual's capacity for physical work, injury related to fall and hospitalization. Therefore measures should be undertaken to detect anemia at an earlier stage among postmenopausal women and their diet should be assessed properly to ensure an adequate intake of nutrients like iron, vitamin B12 and folate. The study will be published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association.