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Acta Paediatr. 2007 Apr;96(4):530-3. Epub 2007 Feb 26.

Haematological changes and iron status in teenage girls with eating disorders and weight loss-the importance of menstrual status.

Author information

1
Department of Women's and Children's Health, Uppsala University Children's Hospital, Uppsala, Sweden. ingemar.swenne@akademiska.se

Abstract

AIM:

To study haematological changes and iron stores in teenage girls with eating disorders and weight loss.

METHODS:

Blood haemoglobin concentration, white blood cell and thrombocyte count and serum ferritin concentration were measured at assessments of 446 subjects.

RESULTS:

Haemoglobin concentrations, leukocyte and thrombocyte counts were related to weight and rate of weight loss but were largely within reference ranges. Serum ferritin concentrations were high in girls with amenorrhea and related to weight and rate of weight loss. Girls who retained menstruations had low serum ferritin concentrations and 37% had depleted iron stores (serum ferritin<16 microg/L).

CONCLUSION:

Anaemia, leukopenia and thrombocytopenia are uncommon in teenage girls with eating disorders and weight loss. When present, other diseases causing haematological changes should be considered. In amenorrhoic girls muscle catabolism increases serum ferritin concentrations which may give a false impression of an adequate iron status. This is unmasked in girls with retained menstruations who often have depleted iron stores.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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