Anemia is an enormous problem worldwide that is worse in the developing countries but by no means lacking in developed countries. Women and children are disproportionately affected. Nutritional anemias, mainly caused by a lack of iron and folate, are largely correctable by dietary improvement, but this socioeconomic change may not be readily achieved. The inherited disorders, the hemoglobinopathies and thalassemias, in their heterozygous forms are beneficial to the affected populations. Prevention of the homozygous forms and the serious diseases that result can only be addressed by education. These conditions are seen in all types of medical practice ranging from neonatology to geriatrics and public health and are an ongoing concern to all physicians.