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What types of anemia result from bone marrow or stem cell problems?

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Bone marrow and stem cell problems may prevent the body from producing enough red blood cells. Some of the stem cells found in bone marrow develop into red blood cells. If you have too few stem cells, they're defective, or replaced by other cells such as metastatic cancer cells, anemia may result. Anemia resulting from bone marrow or stem cell problems include:

  • Aplastic anemia occurs when there's a marked reduction in the number of stem cells or absence of these cells. Aplastic anemia can be inherited, can occur without apparent cause, or can occur when the bone marrow is injured by medications, radiation, chemotherapy, or infection.
  • Thalassemia occurs when the red cells can't mature and grow properly. Thalassemia is an inherited condition that typically affects people of Mediterranean, African, Middle Eastern, and Southeast Asian descent. This condition can range in severity from mild to life-threatening; the most severe form is called Cooley's anemia.
  • Lead exposure is toxic to the bone marrow, leading to fewer red blood cells. Lead poisoning occurs in adults from work-related exposure and in children who eat paint chips, for example. Improperly glazed pottery can also taint food and liquids with lead.

From: Understanding Anemia -- the Basics WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES: American Academy of Family Physicians. The American Medical Athletic Association. Albemarle Pulmonary Medical Associates, PA. Gary W. Tamkin, MD, Attending Physician, Highland General Hospital -- Alameda County Medical Center, Oakland. Cornell University Department of Animal Science.




CDC.

Reviewed by Louise Chang on June 14, 2018

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SOURCES: American Academy of Family Physicians. The American Medical Athletic Association. Albemarle Pulmonary Medical Associates, PA. Gary W. Tamkin, MD, Attending Physician, Highland General Hospital -- Alameda County Medical Center, Oakland. Cornell University Department of Animal Science.




CDC.

Reviewed by Louise Chang on June 14, 2018

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