Iron deficiency is common in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
However, it has been suggested that oral iron is poorly tolerated and may exacerbate disease activity.
In this study, a team of physicians from London, England, compared the usage, tolerance, and efficacy of oral iron therapy in IBD patients and in patients with noninflammatory causes of iron deficiency.
The team examined the case records of 277 patients with IBD and 24 non-IBD iron-deficient controls over a 4-year period.
The researchers found that 19% of the IBD patients had received oral iron.
|19% of IBD patients had received oral iron.|
|Inflammatory Bowel Diseases|
However, the team determined that only 40% of the treated IBD patients and 63% of the controls had iron deficiency confirmed before treatment.
They found that there was no difference in the level of intolerance to iron between the 2 groups. Furthermore, in only 2 of the 8 adequately monitored iron-intolerant patients with IBD, was iron therapy associated with an increase in inflammatory markers.
The team determined that iron repletion was achieved as often in patients with IBD than in those without.
Dr Anupama de Silva's team concluded, "Iron therapy is often used without a formal diagnosis of iron deficiency having been made".
"Patients with IBD are no more intolerant of oral iron than other patients and have similar rates of repletion".