Megaloblastic refers to the large, immature blood cells seen with this kind of anemia. One form called pernicious anemia is the result of a digestive inadequacy in which vitamin B12 is not absorbed through the intestine. The condition also is caused by a parasitic infection, as with a tapeworm, certain digestive diseases, cancer, anticancer chemotherapeutic agents, and most commonly by lack of folate. It is an anemia often seen in elderly people who suffer from malnutrition, alcoholics, teenagers (possibly also related to malnutrition), and pregnant women.
This form of anemia may be corrected easily by placing the individual on a balanced, adequate diet or by replacing lowered levels of folate or vitamins.
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