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Pernicious anemia (per-NISH-us uh-NEE-me-uh) is a condition in which the body does not make enough red blood cells due to a lack of vitamin B12 in the body. It usually occurs in people whose bodies have lost the ability to absorb vitamin B12 from food. Anemia Pernicious anemia is one of many different types of anemia. Having anemia means you do not have enough healthy red blood cells. When a person has anemia, the blood cannot carry enough oxygen to the cells of the body. The most common symptom of anemia is feeling tired.