Date Published: 
Monday, 24 August, 2015

Highlights from the 2015 European Iron Academy

Highlights from the Co-Chairs

The 2nd European Iron Academy, which took place from the 26–27 March 2015 in Paris, France, was an independent educational event organised by a Steering Committee of international experts in iron deficiency (ID) and iron deficiency anaemia (IDA). The event used a mixture of plenary and interactive sessions to discuss recent findings in anaesthesiology, cardiology, gastroenterology, geriatrics, gynaecology, haematology, internal medicine, nephrology, oncology, pharmacoeconomics and surgery.

‘The 2nd European Iron Academy held in Paris in March 2015 was a remarkable event in a number of important ways. It was attended by a large and international community of physicians, and scientists interested in the role of iron in human health, which is a sign of progress in therapeutics, appropriate for the modern age, particularly with the increasing availability of new formulations of iron for treatment. The approach taken to analysing the global burden of iron deficiency by Nicholas Kassebaum was sophisticated and thought-provoking, and this was complemented by Patricia Blank’s survey of health economic considerations. These talks provided context to the excellent presentations on the scientific and medical aspects of iron deficiency with regard to specialities such as Gastroenterology, Nephrology, Cardiology, and Women’s Health, which allowed delegates to appreciate the finer nuances of the debate and question old ways of thinking. The progress in thinking, even from an expert and experienced audience was apparent from the Word Cloud exercise, which graphically illustrated the ideas of delegates. The words that won outright in both the categories Iron deficiency and Measuring Iron Deficiency were Anaemia and Ferritin. However, closely behind these were Asthenia (weakness) and Fatigue. For Measuring Iron Deficiency, the prominence of Ferritin was appropriately challenged by TSAT and Soluble Transferrin Receptor, while Anaemia and Haemoglobin tended to fade into the background. This simple yet fun exercise served well to illustrate how important it is to think about iron in a holistic and sophisticated way.’

Professor Satish Keshav (Consultant Physician in Gastroenterology and Honorary Senior Lecturer, John Radcliffe Hospital, United Kingdom)

‘I had the great honour and privilege, with Professor Keshav, to chair the 2nd European Iron Academy in March, 2015 in Paris, France. Over 500 delegates from 40 countries in Europe, Asia, North America and South America attended and participated in plenary and interactive breakout sessions.’

Professor Patrice Cacoub (Professor of Internal Medicine, Pierre and Marie Curie University, France and Head of the Department of Internal Medicine, La Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital, France)

Interactive and progressive thinking took centre stage at this year’s conference. Delegates participated in group breakout sessions to generate new ideas and methods for researching and combating iron deficiency (ID) and iron deficiency anaemia (IDA).

Targeted Word Cloud exercises challenged participants to use single terms to find trends in their collective ID and IDA experiences. The results of this exercise were then graphically displayed to select common denominators.

The words most prevalent in both the categories of ‘Iron Deficiency’ and ‘Measuring Iron Deficiency’ were ‘Anaemia’ and ‘Ferritin’. Other notable terms were ‘Asthenia’ (weakness) and ‘Fatigue’. For ‘Measuring Iron Deficiency’, the prominence of Ferritin was appropriately challenged by TSAT and Soluble Transferrin Receptor, while Anaemia and Haemoglobin tended to fade into the background. This simple yet fun exercise served well to illustrate how important it is to think about iron in a holistic and sophisticated way.

Interviews were held with some of the EIA Faculty, which can be viewed below.

Chris Gasche

Iain Macdougall

Keshav-Cacoub

Jolanta Malyszko

Piotr Ponikowski

Stefan Anker

Toby Richards

Day 1, Word Cloud 1 - Words associated with ID

Day 1, Word Cloud 2 - Parameters for measuring ID

Day 2, Word Cloud 1 - Words associated with ID

Day 2, Word Cloud 2 - Parameters for measuring ID