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Aust Fam Physician. 2013 May;42(5):299-300.

Pica -- a case report.

Author information

1
Rural Clinical School of Western Australia, Australia. donald.howarth@rcswa.edu.au

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Childhood soil pica is associated with, and can be a cause of, iron deficiency. It can also contribute to lead poisoning. Often pica is first recognised by the clinician during investigation of abdominal pain when an X-ray is performed.

OBJECTIVE:

To highlight the frequency of pica, and to discuss its association with iron deficiency and the risks of lead ingestion in areas of contaminated soil.

DISCUSSION:

Pica is probably more common than we think. In areas with polluted soil it is a particularly important diagnosis to make, as the ingestion of toxins, such as lead, will continue until the pica ceases. In areas where there is lead contamination, whole blood lead levels should be tested in children who exhibit pica.

PMID:
23781529
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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