This is done to test for anemia. Anemia occurs when the amount of hemoglobin (found in the red blood cells) drops below normal. Hemoglobin is necessary for the transportation of oxygen throughout the body. Blood tests may show a variety of common, treatable abnormalities that can lead to problems associated with anemia. Iron deficiency anemia is the most common of the anemias. It is usually due to bleeding. In women, iron deficiency may be due to heavy menstrual periods. In older women and in men, the bleeding is usually from disease of the intestines. In children and in pregnant women, the body needs more iron. Iron deficiency may be due to simply not eating enough iron in the diet. Iron deficiency may also result from some extreme diets. Treatment of iron deficiency usually involves iron supplements. In older women and in men, there is usually some further testing needed to determine why the person is iron deficient.   


A blood sample is obtained by inserting a needle into a vein in the arm.


Male: 12-300ng/ml or 12-300 μg/L (SI units)

Female: 10-150 ng/ml or 10-150 μg/L (SI units)


  • Newborn: 25-200 ng/ml

  • 1 month: 200-600 ng/ml

  • 2-5 months: 50-200 ng/ml

  • 6 months-15 years: 7-142 ng/ml

Ranges for normal findings may vary among different laboratories and hospitals. You should always check with your doctor after having lab work or other tests done to discuss the meaning of your test results and whether your values are considered within normal limits.


Your caregiver will go over the test results with you and discuss the importance and meaning of your results, as well as treatment options and the need for additional tests if necessary.


It is your responsibility to obtain your test results. Ask the lab or department performing the test when and how you will get your results.