Parameters for the assessment of iron status

Adriana A Paiva Patrícia HC Rondó Elvira M Guerra-Shinohara About the authors

The assessment of iron status at individual and populational levels has been the target of many studies because some issues still need to be defined. A Medline, Lilacs and Dedalus literature review was carried out for the period of 1972 to 1998 and scientific publications in both English and Portuguese relating hematological and biochemical parameters were used in the assessment of iron status. The parameters reflect the three different stages of iron storage deficiency, which occur in a gradual and progressive way leading to the development of anaemia. In general, when used alone, these parameters are neither sensitive nor specific for detecting iron deficiency anaemia. Moreover, some advantages and limitations should be taken into consideration for the choice of the appropriate parameter. To improve both sensitivity and specificity, different parameters have been used in association and their specific contribution is determined according to the characteristics of the study population, methodological issues and the costs involved in the process.

Anemia, iron-deficiency; Iron deficiency

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