Acta chirurgica Iugoslavica 2007 Volume 54, Issue 1, Pages: 91-105
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Iron deficiency anemia and its importance in gastroenterology clinical practice

Vučelić D., Nenadić B., Peško P., Bjelović M., Stojakov D., Sabljak P., Ebrahimi K., Dunjić S., Veličković D., Špica B.

Iron deficiency anemia (IDA) is a universal problem involving individuals of all ages and both sexes and is a common cause of referral to medical departments. This anemia is one of the most common types of anemia. IDA impairs growth and intellectual development in children and adolescent. In women IDA is most common in reproductive period because of menstrual and pregnancy iron losses. IDA affects roughly 10-30% of all pregnancies and, among others morbidities, may contribute of developing postpartum depression. Among other adult patient, chronic occult gastrointestinal bleeding is the leading cause of IDA. Approximately, one third of patients with anemia have iron deficiency and up to two thirds of patients with IDA have serious gastrointestinal lesions detected with esophagogastroduodenoscopy and colonoscopy, including 10-15% with malignancy. However, in practice not all anemic patients undergo appropriate diagnostic tests to detect iron deficiency. Furthermore, a substantial proportion of patients with IDA do not undergo endoscopic evaluation. The approach to its investigation and subsequent therapy depends upon a comprehensive understanding of iron metabolism and heme synthesis. Once diagnosis of iron deficiency or IDA is established, evaluation for the cause of anemia must be appropriate performed and treatment must include corrective replenishment of body stores.

Keywords: iron deficiency, iron deficiency anemia, occult gastrointestinal bleeding, endoscopy

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