The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) is strongly committed to supporting research aimed at preventing and treating heart, lung, and blood diseases and conditions and sleep disorders.
Researchers have learned a lot about anemia and other blood diseases and conditions over the years. That knowledge has led to advances in medical care.
Many questions remain about blood diseases and conditions, including iron-deficiency anemia. The NHLBI continues to support research aimed at learning more about these illnesses.
For example, NHLBI-supported research on iron-deficiency anemia includes studies that explore:
- Ways to prevent iron deficiency among infants, such as giving iron supplements at various stages of development
- The causes of unexplained anemia in older people
- The lifespan of red blood cells in both younger and older adults and their role in anemia
Much of this research depends on the willingness of volunteers to take part in clinical trials.
Clinical trials test new ways to prevent, diagnose, or treat various diseases and conditions. For example, new treatments for a disease or condition (such as medicines, medical devices, surgeries, or procedures) are tested in volunteers who have the illness. Testing shows whether a treatment is safe and effective in humans before it is made available for widespread use.
By taking part in a clinical trial, you can gain access to new treatments before they're widely available. You also will have the support of a team of health care providers, who will likely monitor your health closely. Even if you don't directly benefit from the results of a clinical trial, the information gathered can help others and add to scientific knowledge.
If you volunteer for a clinical trial, the research will be explained to you in detail. You'll learn about treatments and tests you may receive, and the benefits and risks they may pose. You'll also be given a chance to ask questions about the research. This process is called informed consent.
If you agree to take part in the trial, you'll be asked to sign an informed consent form. This form is not a contract. You have the right to withdraw from a study at any time, for any reason. Also, you have the right to learn about new risks or findings that emerge during the trial.
For more information about clinical trials related to iron-deficiency anemia, talk with your doctor. You also can visit the following Web sites to learn more about clinical research and to search for clinical trials:
For more information about clinical trials for children, visit the NHLBI's Children and Clinical Studies Web page.
Living With and Managing Iron-Deficiency Anemia10/14/2014