Haematology

Children with iron deficiency anaemia show an increase in haemoglobin levels when given foods that are fortified with iron, according to recent analyses. The results from a large number of randomized, controlled trials offer insight into potential new avenues for treating iron deficiency and, in particular, iron deficiency anaemia, which is the most common form of anaemia worldwide, and particularly prevalent in developing countries.

Hepcidin and iron stores decrease significantly during long-term running training in female athletes and do not recover within ten days, regardless of baseline iron status, according to a recent study. The findings stress the importance of iron status for female athletes, and may help to improve our understanding of conditions associated with disturbed iron homeostatsis, such as anaemia and iron deficiency.

New research suggests that intravenous iron therapy may help to improve iron levels in patients with Waldenström macroglobulinemia who exhibit severely depressed transferrin saturation (TSAT) levels.

The American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) practice improvement project was conducted to determine baseline TSAT levels in untreated anaemic patients with Waldenström macroglobulinemia. Among 108 patients, 56 (52%) had a TSAT level ≤20%, which included 25 (23%) patients with severely depressed TSAT levels (≤10%).

New data has confirmed the validity of the widely used haemoglobin thresholds for the diagnosis of iron deficiency and anaemia. The new analyses also confirm the adverse effect of both anaemia and low haemoglobin on survival in men, independently of other major risk factors. The study shows that, for men, both mild and more severe anaemia are significantly associated with reduced survival, compared with men with normal haemoglobin levels, as defined using the World Health Organization thresholds.

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