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Concept: Iron supplements


Iron deficiency is a common complication in patients with IBD and oral iron therapy is suggested to exacerbate IBD symptoms. We performed an open-labelled clinical trial to compare the effects of per oral (PO) versus intravenous (IV) iron replacement therapy (IRT).

Concepts: Clinical trial, Gut flora, Iron, Medical terms, Effectiveness,, Iron supplements, Iron deficiency


To identify the prevalence and impact of heavy menstrual bleeding (HMB) in exercising females where anemia may have a significant effect on training and performance a ‘Female Health Questionnaire’ was designed incorporating a validated diagnostic HMB series, demographics, exercise ability data, training status, anemia, iron supplementation and whether the menstrual cycle had affected training and performance. The survey was conducted in two stages; initially online, advertised via social media, and then repeated via face-to-face interviews with runners registered for the 2015 London Marathon. 789 participants responded to the online survey, and 1073 completed the survey at the marathon. HMB was reported by half of those online (54%), and by more than a third of the marathon runners (36%). Surprisingly, HMB was also prevalent amongst elite athletes (37%). Overall, 32% of exercising females reported a history of anemia, and 50% had previously supplemented with iron. Only a minority (22%) had sought medical advice. HMB is highly prevalent in exercising females, associated with self-reported anemia, increased use of iron supplementation and a perceived negative impact on performance. Further research is needed to investigate the impact of HMB, iron deficiency and anemia in exercising females.

Concepts: Menstrual cycle, Ovum, Menstruation, Iron supplements, Menorrhagia


OBJECTIVE: To describe the prevalence of iron depletion (ID), iron-deficiency anaemia (IDA) and risk of haemoconcentration during pregnancy and at delivery and to assess the influence of initial Fe stores and Fe supplementation on that prevalence. DESIGN: Longitudinal study. SETTING: Hospital Universitari Sant Joan de Reus (Catalonia, Spain). SUBJECTS: Two hundred and eighty-five pregnant women. Serum ferritin and Hb were measured in the first, second and third trimesters and at delivery. Women were classified according to initial Fe stores as ID or no ID (serum ferritin ≥12 μg/l) and according to Fe supplement use as supplemented or non-supplemented. RESULTS: Initial ID was 16·2 %. At delivery, 45·7 % had ID, 13·5 % IDA and 13·3 % had risk of haemoconcentration. Initial ID and non-supplemented groups had significantly higher prevalences of ID and IDA and lower risk of haemoconcentration at delivery than the other groups. In the multiple logistic models, no initial ID and Fe supplementation exerted a protective effect against ID at delivery (adjusted OR = 0·28; 95 % CI 0·13, 0·58 and adjusted OR = 0·39; 95 % CI 0·22, 0·69, respectively). Moderate Fe supplementation did not seem to clearly prevent IDA (adjusted OR = 0·91; 95 % CI 0·42, 1·96) or to enhance the haemoconcentration (adjusted OR = 1·42; 95 % CI 0·58, 3·50). CONCLUSIONS: The prevalence of ID and IDA was high in late pregnancy in healthy pregnant women, particularly in those with initial ID and/or those not taking supplements. Starting pregnancy with no ID and/or taking moderate Fe supplementation decreased the likelihood of ID at delivery. The risk of haemoconcentration was high at delivery, but did not seem to be promoted by Fe supplementation. Further research is necessary to determine the most appropriate nutritional advice for pregnant women.

Concepts: Pregnancy, Childbirth, Iron, Folic acid, Iron deficiency anemia, Human iron metabolism, Iron supplements, Trimester


Iron-refractory iron-deficiency anemia (IRIDA) is an autosomal recessive disorder caused by mutations in TMPRSS6. Patients have hypochromic microcytic anemia refractory to oral iron and are only partially responsive to parenteral iron administration. We report a French-Canadian kindred in which 2 siblings presented in early childhood with severe microcytic anemia, hypoferremia, and hyperferritinemia. Both children have been successfully treated solely with low-dose oral iron since diagnosis. Clinical and biological presentation did not fit any previously described genetic iron-deficiency anemia. Whole exome sequencing identified in both patients compound heterozygous mutations of TMPRSS6 leading to p.G442R and p.E522K, 2 mutations previously reported to cause classic IRIDA, and no additional mutations in known iron-regulatory genes. Thus, the phenotype associated with the unique combination of mutations uncovered in both patients expands the spectrum of disease associated with TMPRSS6 mutations to include iron deficiency anemia that is accompanied by hyperferritinemia at initial presentation and is responsive to continued oral iron therapy. Our results have implications for genetic testing in early childhood iron deficiency anemia. Importantly, they emphasize that whole exome sequencing can be used as a diagnostic tool and greatly facilitate the elucidation of the genetic basis of unusual clinical presentations, including hypomorphic mutations or compound heterozygosity leading to different phenotypes in known Mendelian diseases.

Concepts: Hemoglobin, Gene, Genetics, Anemia, Iron deficiency anemia, Gregor Mendel, Microcytic anemia, Iron supplements


This article considers the use and modality of iron therapy to treat iron deficiency in patients with heart failure, an aspect of care which has received relatively little attention compared with the wider topic of anaemia management. Iron deficiency affects up to 50% of heart failure patients, and is associated with poor quality of life, impaired exercise tolerance, and mortality independent of haematopoietic effects in this patient population. The European Society of Cardiology Guidelines for heart failure 2012 recommend a diagnostic work-up for iron deficiency in patients with suspected heart failure. Iron absorption from oral iron preparations is generally poor, with slow and often inefficient iron repletion; moreover, up to 60% of patients experience gastrointestinal side effects. These problems may be exacerbated in heart failure due to decreased gastrointestinal absorption and poor compliance due to pill burden. Evidence for clinical benefits using oral iron is lacking. I.v. iron sucrose has consistently been shown to improve exercise capacity, cardiac function, symptom severity, and quality of life. Similar findings were observed recently for i.v. ferric carboxymaltose in patients with systolic heart failure and impaired LVEF in the double-blind, placebo-controlled FAIR-HF and CONFIRM-HF trials. I.v. iron therapy may be better tolerated than oral iron, although confirmation in longer clinical trials is awaited. Routine diagnosis and management of iron deficiency in patients with symptomatic heart failure regardless of anaemia status is advisable, and, based on current evidence, prompt intervention using i.v. iron therapy should now be considered.

Concepts: Hemoglobin, Iron, Myocardial infarction, Cardiology, Heart failure, Obesity, Avicenna, Iron supplements


Iron is a functional component of oxygen transport and energy production in humans and therefore is a critically important micronutrient for sport and exercise performance. Athletes, particularly female athletes participating in endurance sport, are at increased risk of compromised iron status due to heightened iron losses through menstruation and exercise-induced mechanisms associated with endurance activity. Conventionally oral iron supplementation is used in prevention or/and treatment of iron deficiency. However, this approach has been criticised because of the side effects and increased risk of iron toxicity associated with the use of supplements. Thus, more recently there has been a growing interest in using dietary modification rather than the use of supplements to improve iron status of athletes. Dietary iron treatment methods include the prescription of an iron-rich diet, or/and haem iron-based diet, dietary advice counselling and inclusion of novel iron-rich products into the daily diet. Although studies using dietary modification are still scarce, current literature suggests that dietary iron interventions can assist in maintaining iron status in female athletes, especially during intensive training and competition. Future research should focus on the most efficient method(s) of dietary modification for improvement of iron status and whether these approaches can have a favourable impact on sports and exercise performance.

Concepts: Hemoglobin, Human, Improve, Iron, Heme, Human iron metabolism, Iron supplements, Iron deficiency


Food-based strategies to reduce nutritional iron deficiency have not been universally successful. Biofortification has the potential to become a sustainable, inexpensive, and effective solution.

Concepts: Nutrition, Iron, Iron supplements


To investigate the influence of daily oral iron supplementation on changes in hemoglobin mass (Hbmass) and iron parameters after 2-4 weeks of moderate altitude exposure.

Concepts: Iron, Anemia, Iron deficiency anemia, Parameter, Iron supplements, Ferritin, Iron deficiency


The aim of this study was to evaluate the benefits and safety of long-term i.v. iron therapy in iron-deficient patients with heart failure (HF).

Concepts: Iron, Intravenous therapy, Reliability engineering, Iron supplements


Current guidelines to treat iron deficiency recommend daily provision of ferrous iron divided through the day to increase absorption. However, daily dosing and split dosing might increase serum hepcidin and decrease iron absorption from subsequent doses. Our study aim was to compare iron absorption from oral iron supplements given on consecutive versus alternate days and given as single morning doses versus twice-daily split dosing.

Concepts: Iron, Randomized controlled trial, Hematology, Dose, Human iron metabolism, Iron supplements, Iron deficiency, Knitting