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Iron-deficiency anaemia linked to stroke

Iron-deficiency anaemia is 10 times more common in young children who have had a stroke than among those who have not had a stroke.

Iron-deficiency anaemia linked to stroke

Iron-deficiency anaemia is 10 times more common in young children who have had a stroke than among those who have not had a stroke. Iron-deficiency anaemia is known to occur in up to eight per cent of children between 1 and 3 years of age. It is defined as haemoglobin levels of less than 11 grams percent, plus low average volumes of red blood cells and iron levels. A deficiency of iron in the diet is the most frequent cause of this anaemia. Previous studies have suggested that a link between iron-deficiency anaemia and stroke. To examine this association further, researchers from the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto assessed the occurrence of iron-deficiency anaemia in 15 previously healthy children who suffered a stroke and in 143 similar children without a stroke. The children were about two years old. The prevalence of iron-deficiency anaemia in the stroke group was 53 per cent, significantly higher than the nine per cent rate in the comparison group. Although the stroke patients had higher counts of platelets, blood components that cause the blood to clot, which itself may promote stroke, iron-deficiency anaemia alone appeared to be a risk factor for stroke. The findings suggest that iron-deficiency anaemia is a significant risk factor for stroke in otherwise healthy young children. This underlines the importance of strategies for the prevention and early detection of iron-deficiency anaemia in young children.
Pediatrics,
November 2007
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