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Is Iron Deficiency in the Absence of Anemia Associated With Fatigue in Inflammatory Bowel Disease?

Goldenberg, Benjamin A MD1; Graff, Lesley A PhD2, 3; Clara, Ian PhD3; Zarychanski, Ryan MD1, 4; Walker, John R PhD2, 3; Carr, Rachel BA3; Rogala, Linda RN3; Miller, Norine RN3; Bernstein, Charles N MD1, 3

American Journal of Gastroenterology: September 2013 - Volume 108 - Issue 9 - p 1392–1397
doi: 10.1038/ajg.2013.14
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OBJECTIVES: We explored whether iron deficiency in the absence of anemia is associated with fatigue in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

METHODS: We assessed iron deficiency and anemia in 280 participants from the population-based Manitoba IBD Cohort Study.

RESULTS: Iron deficiency was identified in 20% with Crohn’s disease and 27% with ulcerative colitis. Anemia was identified overall in 50 (18%), with 230 who were nonanemic. In the nonanemic subgroup, there were no significant differences between iron-deficient and -sufficient groups in mean fatigue levels or proportions with problematic fatigue. There was no unique contribution of iron deficiency to problematic fatigue after adjustment for active disease and anemia.

CONCLUSIONS: There was no evidence of an association between iron deficiency and fatigue in the absence of anemia, suggesting that iron deficiency is not a clinically relevant contributor to fatigue in IBD.

1 Department of Internal Medicine, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

2 Department of Clinical Health Psychology, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

3 University of Manitoba IBD Clinical and Research Centre, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

4 Department of Community Health Sciences, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Correspondence: Lesley A. Graff, PhD, Department of Clinical Health Psychology, University of Manitoba, PZ-350, 771 Bannatyne Avenue, Winnipeg, Manitoba R3E 3N4, Canada. E-mail: lgraff@hsc.mb.ca

© The American College of Gastroenterology 2013. All Rights Reserved.
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