Clinical Guidelines

As presentation and treatment of iron deficiency can vary considerably depending on the individual patient and their concomitant disease, there are multiple clinical guidelines available to aid the diagnosis and management of iron deficiency, anaemia and iron deficiency anaemia. Always consult the appropriate guidelines for your therapeutic specialty.

General iron deficiency 

World Health Organization (WHO): Iron deficiency anaemia – Assessment, prevention and control1

Despite being older than some disease-specific recommendations, this guideline contains indicators for monitoring interventions to combat iron deficiency, and reviews methods of assessing and preventing iron deficiency in the light of significant scientific advances.


Kidney Disease: Improving Global Outcomes (KDIGO): Clinical Practice Guideline for Anemia in Chronic Kidney Disease2

This guideline contains chapters addressing diagnosis and evaluation of iron deficiency in chronic kidney disease, and the role of iron in relation to other treatments available.


European Society of Cardiology (ESC): Guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of acute and chronic heart failure3

This guideline recognises iron deficiency as an independent risk factor in heart failure and how it may increase morbidity. It also describes how intravenous iron therapy has improved self-reported patient global assessment, physical functioning, NYHA class and quality of life in patients with heart failure.

Obstetrics and gynaecology

WHO: Guideline – Daily iron and folic acid supplementation in pregnant women4

This guideline describes how daily oral iron supplementation is recommended in pregnant women as part of antenatal care to reduce the risk of low birth weight and iron deficiency.

WHO: Intermittent iron and folic acid supplementation in menstruating women5

This guideline explains that intermittent iron supplementation is recommended as a public health intervention in menstruating women living in certain settings, to improve their haemoglobin concentrations and iron status.


National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN): Guidelines6

The NCCN Guidelines have been extensively revised to include indications for transfusion for certain patient groups. Special categories for considering erythropoietin-stimulating agent use and the management of functional iron deficiency are described.


European Crohn’s and Colitis Organisation (ECCO): Guidelines7

The ECCO guidelines have recently been updated to include detailed recommendations on iron supplementation for correction of iron deficiency, with a preference for intravenous formulations, in patients with ulcerative colitis.