Intended for healthcare professionals


Iron deficiency is neglected in women's health

BMJ 2002; 325 doi: (Published 16 November 2002) Cite this as: BMJ 2002;325:1176
  1. D Hugh Rushton, honorary senior lecturer (,
  2. Robin Dover, clinical research officer,
  3. Anthony W Sainsbury, senior veterinary officer,
  4. Michael J Norris, principal lecturer,
  5. Jeremy J H Gilkes, consultant dermatologist,
  6. Ian D Ramsay, consultant endocrinologist
  1. School of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences, University of Portsmouth, Portsmouth PO1 2DT
  2. Cancer Research UK, London WC2A 3PX
  3. Institute of Zoology, Zoological Society of London, London NW1 4RY
  4. School of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences, University of Portsmouth
  5. Lister Hospital, London SW1W 8RH

    EDITOR—The data by Waalen et al show that 38% of menstruating women living in San Diego are iron deficient using the accepted cut-off point of <20% for transferrin saturation as an indicator of deficiency. These data support our hypothesis that haematological distributions contain a large proportion of iron deficient women.1

    By focusing on the mean haemoglobin distribution, Waalen et al lose sight of a fundamental part of our work: why should women have lower reference …

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