• Screening for Nutritional Anemia

    The purpose of screening is early diagnosis and treatment. Screening tests are administered to people without current symptoms, but who may be at high risk for certain diseases or conditions.

    Screening Tests

    A hematocrit or a hemoglobin test can detect anemia. These tests are part of a complete blood count, which is often done when you go to the doctor for an annual physical exam, or as part of your prenatal exams. A hematocrit is done every time you give blood. Infants and children are often screened for iron deficiency anemia as part of a well child evaluation.
    The percentage of your blood that is red cells. This is easily done by filling a tiny glass tube with a drop of blood from your finger and spinning it down in a centrifuge so that all the cells settle to the bottom. Normal adult values are 42%-52% in men and 37%-48% in women.
    The amount of hemoglobin (oxygen-carrying chemical) in your blood. Normal adult values for men are 13.8–17.2 grams per deciliter of blood (g/dL) and 12.1–15.1 gm/dL for women.
    Complete Blood Count
    The above values plus a count of red cells, white cells, and platelets can be done automatically by a machine. These values plus calculations derived from them constitute the CBC, which is a routine blood test.

    Screening Guidelines

    The US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends screening for:
    • Non-pregnant women at 5-10 year intervals (more often for those at risk of iron-deficiency because of heavy menstrual blood loss or poor iron intake)
    • Pregnant women at the first prenatal visit
    The USPSTF does not have recommendations for screening men or postmenopausal women.
    For children, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends screening at one year. Some children, like those who were born prematurely, may need to be screened more frequently.


    Decreased erythropoiesis. Merck Manual Professional Version website. Available at: http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/hematology-and-oncology/anemias-caused-by-deficient-erythropoiesis/decreased-erythropoiesis. Updated May 2013. Accessed September 29, 2015.

    Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine. 16th ed. McGraw-Hill; 2004.

    Iron deficiency anemia in adults. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated September 23, 2015. Accessed September 29, 2015.

    10/12/2010 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed: Baker R, Greer F, the Committee on Nutrition American Academy of Pediatrics. Clinical report—diagnosis and prevention of iron deficiency and iron-deficiency anemia in infants and young children (0-3 years of age). Pediatrics. 2010;126(5):1040-1050.

    Revision Information

  • LiveWell personal health survey

    How healthy are you really? Find out – free.Learn more

    It's time to stop guessing. If you want to make some changes but just aren't sure how, the free personal health survey from LiveWell is a great place to start.

  • HeartSHAPE Spotlight

    At risk for a heart attack? Learn more

    Fight heart disease and prevent heart attacks. HeartSHAPE® is a painless, non-invasive test that checks pictures of your heart for early-stage coronary disease.

  • Calories and Energy Needs

    Calorie NeedsLearn more

    How many calories do you need to eat each day to maintain your weight and fuel your physical activity? Enter a few of your stats into this calculator to find out.

  • Ideal Body Weight

    Ideal Body WeightLearn more

    Using body mass index as a reference, this calculator determines your ideal body weight range. All you need to do is enter your height.

  • Body Mass Index

    Body Mass IndexLearn more

    This tool considers your height and weight to assess your weight status.

  • Can we help answer your questions?

    Wellmont Nurse Connection is your resource for valuable health information any time, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Speak to a Nurse any time, day or night, at (423) 723-6877 or toll-free at 1-877-230-NURSE.