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Iran Red Crescent Med J. 2012 Jul;14(7):397-401. Epub 2012 Jul 30.

Accuracy of Various Iron Parameters in the Prediction of Iron Deficiency Anemia among Healthy Women of Child Bearing Age, Saudi Arabia.

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Department of Family and Community Medicine, King Khalid University Hospital, King Saud University, College of Medicine, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia ; Chai of Princess Nora for Women's Health Research, King Khalid University Hospital, King Saud University, College of Medicine, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.



Iron deficiency is still considered the most common nutritional deficiency worldwide and the most significant negative consequence of iron deficiency is iron deficiency anemia (IDA). This study elucidates if IDA among healthy women of child bearing age could be predicted by various iron parameters, using serum ferritin as a gold standard.


Between January and June 2009 at primary care clinics of a teaching hospital in Saudi Arabia, 112 anemic (Hemoglobin = 120 g/l) subjects participated in the study. Mean corpuscular volume (MCV), mean corpuscular hemoglobin (MCH), mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration (MCHC), red blood cell distribution width (RDW), serum ferritin, and hemoglobin electrophoresis were obtained from all participants. Receiver operator characteristic (ROC) curves were used to assess the accuracy of various iron parameters.


With respect to the serum ferritin, the best predictive cut-off value of MCV, MCH and RDW at the most optimal were 76 fl (ROC curve=0.768), 24 Pg (ROC curve=0.72) and 16.1% (ROC curve=0.711), respectively. MCHC was not significant in predicting the iron deficiency in these patients.


IDA can be predicted among women of child bearing age using complete blood count test. MCV, MCH and RDW are the iron parameters of complete blood count test, which is a cost effective, easily accessible and could be useful tool in areas with limited resources and a high prevalence of the disease.


Ferritin; Iron deficiency anemia; MCH; MCV; RDW; Women

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