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Symptom panorama in upper secondary school students and symptoms related to iron deficiency. Screening with laboratory tests, questionnaire and interventional treatment with iron.

Journal article
Authors Jörgen Månsson
Gunilla Johansson
Mona Wiklund
Amir Baigi
Bertil Marklund
Published in Scandinavian journal of primary health care
Volume 23
Issue 1
Pages 28-33
ISSN 0281-3432
Publication year 2005
Published at Institute of Community Medicine, Dept of Primary Health Care
Pages 28-33
Language en
Keywords general practice, iron deficiency, iron supplementation, screening, students, symptom
Subject categories Medical and Health Sciences


OBJECTIVE: To study symptom panorama in students, to identify undiagnosed iron deficiency, and to evaluate any changes in symptoms and laboratory test results after treatment with iron supplementation. DESIGN: Descriptive and prospective, interventional study. SETTING: Healthcare in upper secondary school. INTERVENTION: Treatment with iron supplementation for a period of 3 months. SUBJECTS: Students in the first grade of one upper secondary school. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Frequency of iron deficiency related to symptoms measured by a questionnaire (30 questions) on symptoms related to quality of life and 9 questions about diet and exercise. RESULTS: Iron deficiency was diagnosed in 12% of the students (two or more abnormal laboratory tests) and in 61% of the students one or more laboratory tests were abnormal. Symptoms of vertigo/ dizziness were significantly more common in students with iron deficiency. After iron supplementation there was a significant increase in s-ferritin levels and a decrease in s-transferrin levels, with an accompanying significant reduction of the symptom scores of vertigo/dizziness, irritability, depressive symptoms, and indisposition. CONCLUSIONS: Symptoms of vertigo/dizziness were significantly more common in students with iron deficiency. Iron supplementation reduced the symptoms of vertigo/dizziness, irritability, depressive symptoms, and indisposition.

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