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New guideline on managing iron deficiency in pregnancy


Pregnant women are routinely tested for anemia, as iron-deficiency anemia is common in pregnancy. Screening for iron deficiency in the absence of anemia is more controversial. A new guideline from the United Kingdom reviews the scope of the problem and provides recommendations for testing and treatment. These include identifying non-anemic women at high risk for iron deficiency and either beginning prophylactic iron therapy or checking iron parameters and targeting treatment to women with evidence of deficiency; in anemic women, lowering the dose of oral iron if poorly tolerated and switching to intravenous iron if oral iron is ineffective or the anemia is severe (especially later in the pregnancy); and continuing oral iron replacement for three months and at least six weeks postpartum.

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