Iron Status

tration, transferrin saturation and serum transferrin receptor concentration. Iron deficiency differs from normal iron status by reduced blood levels of haemoglobin, transferrin saturation below the levels defined for age and gender, serum ferritin concentration less than 12 ^g l-1, and soluble transferrin receptor concentration above 9 mg l-1. Groups at risk of iron deficiency include infants, young children and women of childbearing age. Iron overload differs from normal iron status by increased serum ferritin concentration (> 200 ^g l-1) and transferrin saturation (> 50%). Groups at risk of iron overload include individuals who receive frequent blood transfusions, such as those with beta-thalas-saemia or sickle-cell disease, patients with renal disease who receive medicinal iron due to impaired erythropoiesis, people with idiopathic haemochromatosis and the Bantu of southern Africa, who frequently consume traditional beer, which is very rich in iron.

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