A new medical review published in the American Journal of Hematology aims to help physicians better manage patients with iron deficiency and a chronic inflammatory condition which affects either their heart, kidneys or bowel. A team of international health experts, known as the Iron Core Group, have worked on the review together which is called “Iron deficiency across chronic inflammatory conditions: International expert opinion on definition, diagnosis and management”.
The terms ‘iron deficiency’ and ‘iron deficiency anemia’ can often be used interchangeably by physicians which may confuse patients and complicate the diagnosis process. The review addresses this and provides physicians with clear guidance on how to describe iron deficiency to their patients, via a definition which separates iron deficiency from iron deficiency anemia. The new definition is:
“Iron deficiency is a health-related condition in which iron availability is insufficient to meet the body’s needs and which can be present with or without anemia”
Iron deficiency can be diagnosed using a simple test. Testing for iron deficiency early and accurately can have a positive impact to patient’s quality of life and can prevent their illness from worsening. Clear guidance on when physicians should suspect iron deficiency based on symptoms and blood test results is provided in the review. The hope is to ensure that patients are given a chance at improved quality of life. Check out the infographic for more information.
The Iron Core Group is made up of top physicians from all over the world who have united under the Iron Core Initiative, a Vifor Pharma sponsored programme started in 2016 to raise global awareness of iron deficiency. In 2018 the Iron Core Group expect to publish additional reviews focusing on iron deficiency in other high risk groups such as in women, the elderly and those undergoing surgery.
Source: Cappellini MD et al Iron deficiency across chronic inflammatory conditions: International expert opinion on definition, diagnosis, and management. Am J Hematol. 2017 Jun 13. doi: 10.1002/ajh.24820. [Epub ahead of print]