Considerations for Practice

A new study indicates that oral iron therapy results in failure to control iron deficiency anaemia in two out of three patients with inflammatory bowel disease. Researchers suggest alternative options should be considered in these patients and, in particular, administration of intravenous iron therapy.

Patients with colon cancer are more likely to experience comorbidities if they also present with iron deficiency anaemia, a new study indicates. Researchers suggest that inferior survival outcomes could be due to a higher prevalence of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and chronic kidney disease.

A single high dose of intravenous iron therapy has no significant effect on intact fibroblast growth factor 23 (FGF23) plasma levels for up to 7 days in normal and uraemic rats, new data indicate. These findings are of importance owing to the associations between increased mortality and FGF23 in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD), who are often prescribed iron therapy.

Short-term food restrictions in women can cause iron deficiency and alter emotional status, according to researchers. Authors of the new study suggest that depressive symptoms in disorders where food is restricted, such as anorexia or other eating disorders, may be associated with iron deficiency.

Bacteria require iron for normal metabolism. This fact has led to conjecture that iron therapy is responsible for an increase in observed infections. To date, there is no prospective data to support that contention, while several prospective and observational studies suggest the opposite. Iron is a pro-oxidant and an important nutrient for many bacteria. In the laboratory, the addition of iron to animals exacerbates sepsis.

Both iron deficiency and iron overload correlate with organ impairment in patients with multiple myeloma, but iron deficiency is observed more frequently according to recent findings, study authors report.

Approximately 97% of patients with multiple myeloma develop anaemia during the course of their disease. Usually, anaemia in these patients is normocytic/normochromic, combined with normal to low iron levels and elevated ferritin levels.

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