Prevalence of iron deficiency and health-related quality of life among female students.

Centre Hospitalo Universitaire de Clermont-Ferrand, Clermont-Ferrand, France.
Journal of the American College of Nutrition (Impact Factor: 1.68). 04/2008; 27(2):337-41. DOI: 10.1080/07315724.2008.10719709
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT To investigate prevalence of iron deficiency and examine the relationship between iron status and Health-related Quality of Life among female students.
Cross-sectional study.
Data were collected from 543 female students, aged 17 to 38 years, attending University or secondary schools in Clermont-Ferrand (France) and its metropolitan area. Three groups were defined, according to the rate of serum ferritin: iron deficient (serum ferritin < 15 microg/L), iron depletion borderline (serum ferritin 15-20 microg/L), and iron replete (serum ferritin > 20 microg/L). Those 3 groups of menstruating female students were compared in terms of health-related quality of life using univariate analysis.
Health-related Quality of Life based on SF-36 questionnaire, and iron status measured by serum ferritin.
The prevalence of iron deficiency was 19.3%, the prevalence of borderline iron status was 11.4%. Regarding the SF-36 questionnaire, the only significant difference between iron deficient and iron replete female students concerned the dimension reflecting 'general health', which was significantly lower in iron deficient group (p = 0.015).
Iron deficiency seems to impair the perceived general health in female students. Further research should be conducted on this little known subject.

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