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Iron deficiency anemia in IBD: Prevalence and implications

Gary Lichtenstein, MD

Professor of Medicine
Director, Center for Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Perelman School of Medicine
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA



Iron deficiency anemia (IDA) is a common complication of IBD, affecting at least 40% of patients; however, it is often underdiagnosed and undertreated. There are various treatment options available for correcting iron deficiency and anemia and new formulations have recently been introduced. These include oral iron supplementation and intravenous (IV) regimens. This activity will provide an overview of the incidence of IDA and the recommendation for management from international panels/guidelines. A clinical insight into the treatment of IDA will be provided, including an evaluation of the different formulations of iron currently available and some of the differences between them.

This activity has been designed to meet the educational needs of gastroenterologists and registered nurses involved in the care of patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

Release date: September 29, 2014

Learning objectives

After completing this activity, the participant should be better able to:

  • Describe the prevalence and impact of iron deficiency anemia (IDA) in patients with IBD
  • Explain the physiologic processes controlling iron homeostasis in healthy patients and inflammatory disease states
  • Summarize the treatment of IDA, and the differences among available formulations of iron
  • Provide appropriate care and counsel for patients and their families.


Participants have an implied responsibility to use the newly acquired information to enhance patient outcomes and their own professional development. The information presented in this activity is not meant to serve as a guideline for patient management. Any procedures, medications, or other courses of diagnosis or treatment discussed or suggested in this activity should not be used by clinicians without evaluation of their patient's conditions and possible contraindications and/or dangers in use, review of any applicable manufacturer's product information, and comparison with recommendations of other authorities.

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