Geographic pathology of iron deficiency with special reference to India

Banerji, L. ; Sood, S. K. ; Ramaligaswami, V. (1968) Geographic pathology of iron deficiency with special reference to India American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 21 (10). pp. 1139-1148. ISSN 0002-9165

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1) Iron stores were quantitated histochemically in specimens of liver obtained from different geographical areas of the world with differing rates of prevalence of iron-deficiency anemia. A total of 1,586 specimens obtained from accidental deaths from India, Venezuela, South Africa, the United States, and the United Kingdom was studied. Another series of 1,672 liver specimens obtained from hospital deaths from Sweden, Czechoslovakia, the United States, and Venezuela was also studied separately. 2) Sections were stained for hemosiderin and evaluated on an arbitrary system of grading from 0 to V. 3) The study revealed an extreme paucity of iron stores in some population groups— Indians, South African Indians, and Mexicans. Highest iron stores were found in South Africans, Bantus, and Whites. The iron stores for the United States, the United Kingdom, and Venezuela fell in between these two extremes. In general, the iron stores in the population studied seemed to be related to the magnitude of iron-deficiency anemia in that population insofar as it can be ascertained from published reports. 4) The study has revealed that even in a well-developed country such as the United States in which frank iron-deficiency anemia is not a major problem, there is a substantial number of persons with extremely low iron stores, indicating their vulnerability to the development of anemia. 5) The study has also shown that males have significantly higher iron stores than females in all groups studied.

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