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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2020  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 9  |  Page : 5018-5025

The pattern of iron deficiency with and without anemia among medical college girl students in high altitude southern Saudi Arabia


1 Department of Internal Medicine, College of Medicine, King Khalid University, Abha, Saudi Arabia
2 Department of Laboratory Medicine and Blood Bank, Aseer Central Hospital, Abha, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
3 Department of Laboratory Medicine and Blood Bank, Aseer Central Hospital, Abha, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia; Department of Clinical Pathology, Faculty of Medicine for Girls, Al.Azhar University, Cairo, Egypt
4 Department of Family and Community Medicine, College of Medicine, King Khalid University, Abha, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia; High Institute of Public Health, Alexandria University, Egypt

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Husain Y Alkhaldy
Department of Internal Medicine, College of Medicine, King Khalid University, Aseer Central Hospital, P.O. Box 641, Abha 61421
Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/jfmpc.jfmpc_730_20

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Introduction: The prevalence of iron deficiency, latent and symptomatic, is heterogeneous worldwide. In this study, we aim to explore the prevalence of iron deficiency, with and without anemia, among medical college females at the high Altitude Aseer region of Southwestern Saudi Arabia. Methodology: 200 female medical students were randomly sampled, between the ages of 19 and 27 years. Blood samples were collected for complete blood count (CBC) values and serum ferritin determination. Questionnaires were completed in order to collect demographics, medical history, and socioeconomic information of the participants. Results: Prevalence of overall iron deficiency was high (63%, serum ferritin <20 μg/L, 52.5%, ferritin <15 μg/L). Anemia, adjusted for high altitude (defined as less than 13 g/dL was present in 41 participants (20.5%) and 12 (6.5%) have Hb <12 g/dL. Iron-deficiency anemia (Hb <13 g/dL and serum ferritin <15 μg/L) was present in 35 (17.5%). Personal and family history of anemia and poor animal product containing meals were positively correlated with the presence of iron deficiency state. Neither symptoms of anemia, nor the presence of menorrhagia correlate with the presence of iron deficiency anemia. Conclusion: Iron deficiency with and without anemia is a very common and condition in young females' population at high altitude. Implementing a lab method to screen for anemia on vulnerable populations is needed. Frequently asymptomatic, the primary care providers should maintain a high degree of suspicion in order to initiate screening for iron status.


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