Iron deficiency anemia

Last revised by Dr Daniel J Bell on 11 Mar 2021

Iron deficiency anemia is a common cause of anemia and a common precipitant to radiological investigation.

Epidemiology

Amongst men and postmenopausal women, the incidence in the developed world is around 2%. Among premenopausal women, the incidence is greater and in most cases, investigation is not required.

Pathology

Etiology

Causes may be related to reduced iron input, failure of storage or excessive losses:

Investigations should include:

  • urinalysis
  • celiac screening
  • upper GI endoscopy (UGIE)
  • sigmoidoscopy unless malignancy or celiac disease is diagnosed with UGIE
  • colonoscopy may replace sigmoidoscopy in some centers

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