La tunisie Medicale - 2019 ; Vol 97 ( n°012 ) : 1389-1398
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Summary

Background:
Iron deficiency is the most common nutritional deficiency worldwide and its resulting anemia appears as a public health problem. Iron deficiency anemia is rather a symptom than a disease in itself, and the identification of its etiology is of paramount importance.
Aim:  to study the clinical and etiological features of iron deficiency anemia in an Internal Medicine department.
Methods:
We conducted a retrospective descriptive study between 2001 and 2015 at an internal medicine department including patients presenting with iron deficiency anemia and having at least one etiological investigation.  
Results:
The average age was 45.6  16,3 years. Three main mechanisms of iron deficiency anemia were noted: repeated blood loss (94.4%), digestive malabsorption of iron (17.8%) and lack of dietary iron intake (6.6%).
The digestive origin dominated the etiologies of iron deficiency anemia with a leading frequency of gastritis (32.2%). An underlying cancer was discovered in six cases.
The average duration of follow-up was 9.1 months. An unfavorable outcome (persistence or recurrence of iron deficiency anemia) was associated with an absence or insufficiency of etiological treatment (p << 10-3) and with a duration of iron treatment inferior to 4 months (p = 0.034).
Conclusion:
In case of iron deficiency anemia, the prognosis depends on the quality of the etiological investigation. It can allow the discovery of an underlying cancer. The management of iron deficiency anemia relies on a well-led iron supplementation and an optimal treatment of the incriminated cause.

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