The only hypochromic microcytic anemias in young children are iron deficiency, lead poisoning, and thalassemia. Clinical features helpful in the diagnosis include the following. Iron deficiency: peak incidence from 1 to 2 years of age, diet deficient in iron, or ingestion of more than one quart of milk per day. Alpha-thalassemia trait: occurs in any age group and predominantly in Oriental, black, and Mediterranean races. Beta-thalassemia trait occurs in children more than 6 months of age and predominately in black and Mediterranean races. Lead poisoning: peak incidence from 6 months to 4 years of age and a history of pica. It occurs largely in urban children.

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