Many patients with ulcerative colitis don't receive recommended testing and treatment for the common problem of iron deficiency anemia, reports a study in the October issue of Inflammatory Bowel Diseases, official journal of the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA). The journal is published by Wolters Kluwer.
The study used nationwide data on 836 patients newly diagnosed with ulcerative colitis in the Veterans Affairs (VA) health care system from 2001 to 2011. Over a median eight years' follow-up, 70 percent of patients developed anemia: low levels of hemoglobin, which carries oxygen in the blood.
The study focused on how many of these patients were tested and treated for iron deficiency anemia—a common complication of ulcerative colitis, caused by intestinal bleeding and malnutrition. Iron deficiency anemia has profound effects on health, including declines in physical and cognitive abilities.
The results showed "inadequate monitoring and treatment of anemia and iron deficiency" among patients with ulcerative colitis. Of the patients who developed anemia, 31 percent did not undergo recommended tests for iron deficiency. Sixty-three percent of patients tested were diagnosed with iron deficiency anemia.
Iron-Deficiency Anemia in Ulcerative Colitis—Many Patients Don't Get Testing and Treatment
Source: Wolters Kluwer