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Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2009 Dec;81(6):1114-9. doi: 10.4269/ajtmh.2009.09-0162.

Baseline iron indices as predictors of hemoglobin improvement in anemic Vietnamese women receiving weekly iron-folic acid supplementation and deworming.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, University of Melbourne, Royal Melbourne Hospital, Parkville, Victoria, Australia. santapasricha@hotmail.com


Iron deficiency anemia is highly prevalent among women living in rural Vietnam. However, the utility and cut-offs of indices for diagnosing iron deficiency anemia in the public health context is ill defined. We assessed the ability of iron indices to predict the hemoglobin response (HBR) to weekly iron-folic acid supplementation (WIFS) in anemic rural Vietnamese women. We compared hemoglobin, serum ferritin, and soluble transferrin receptor in a cohort of 221 non-pregnant women of reproductive age before and after 3 months of WIFS and deworming. At baseline, anemia (Hb < 120 g/L) was present in 81/221 (36.7%) of subjects. After 3 months, anemia prevalence fell to 58/221 (26.2%), and the mean hemoglobin change was +3.5 g/L (95% confidence interval, 0.9, 6.6). A hemoglobin response was observed in 50/75 (66.6%) of anemic women. A ferritin cut-off < 30 ng/mL was a more sensitive predictor of response than ferritin < 15 ng/mL.

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