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Expert Rev Hematol. 2018 Sep;11(9):727-736. doi: 10.1080/17474086.2018.1502081. Epub 2018 Aug 1.

Impact and management of iron deficiency and iron deficiency anemia in women's health.

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a Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Faculty of Medicine , American University of Beirut , Beirut , Lebanon.
b Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology , College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University , New York , NY , USA.
c Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology , Royal Free Hospital , London , UK.
d Perinatal and Gynecology Center , Seefeld Zurich/Clinic Hirslanden , Zurich , Switzerland.
e Obstetric Research-Feto Maternal Hematology Unit , University Hospital Zurich , Zurich , Switzerland.
f School of Women's and Children's Health , University of New South Wales, Royal Hospital for Women, Randwick , Sydney , Australia.
g Department of Internal Medicine , American University of Beirut Medical Center , Beirut , Lebanon.


Iron deficiency and iron deficiency anemia are highly prevalent among women throughout their lives. Some females are particularly vulnerable to iron deficiency/iron deficiency anemia, including those with heavy menstrual bleeding (HMB) and pregnant/postpartum women. Despite the high prevalence of iron deficiency/iron deficiency anemia in women, the condition is still underdiagnosed and therefore undertreated, with serious clinical consequences. Areas covered: The following review examines the impact of iron deficiency and iron deficiency anemia on clinical outcomes and quality of life in women from adolescence to post-menopause, paying particular attention to guidelines and current recommendations for diagnostic tests and management. Expert commentary: There are numerous adverse health consequences of an iron-deficient state, affecting all aspects of the physical and emotional health and well-being of women. Guidelines must be developed to help clinicians better identify and treat women at risk of iron deficiency or iron deficiency anemia, particularly those with HMB, or who are pregnant or postpartum. Replacement therapy with oral or intravenous iron preparations is the mainstay of treatment for iron deficiency/iron deficiency anemia, with red blood cell transfusion reserved for emergency situations. Each iron therapy type is associated with benefits and limitations which impact their use.


Heavy menstrual bleeding; intravenous iron treatment; iron deficiency; iron deficiency anemia; oral iron treatment; postpartum; pregnancy

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