Published Papers - Abstract 51

Patterson AJ, Brown WJ, Powers JR & Roberts DCK. Iron deficiency, general health and fatigue: Results from the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women's Health. Quality of Life Research, 2000; 9(5): 491-497

Associations between self-reported ‘low iron’, general health and well-being, vitality and tiredness in women, were examined using Physical (PCS) and Mental (MCS) Component Summary and Vitality (VT) scores from the MOS Short-form survey (SF-36). 14764 young (18-23yrs) and 14200 mid-age (45-50yrs) women, randomly selected from the national Health Insurance Commission (Medicare) database, completed a baseline mailed self-report questionnaire and 8869 mid-age women completed a follow-up questionnaire two years later.Young and mid-age women who reported (ever) having had ‘low iron’ reported lower mean PCS, MCS and VT scores, and greater prevalence of ‘constant tiredness’ at baseline than women with no history of iron deficiency [Young - PCS: 47.2 and 49.3 respectively, Difference=2.2 (95% CI: 1.9-2.5); MCS: 41.9 and 46.8, Difference=4.8 (95%CI: 4.4-5.2); VT-1.6); MCS: 45.1 and 48.1, Difference=3.1 (95% CI: 2.7-3.4); VT: 54.7 and 60.6, Difference=5.9 (95% CI: 5.3-6.5); Constant tiredness: 63% and 48%, Difference=15% (95% CI: 13-17%)].After correcting for number of children, chronic conditions, symptoms and hours worked, mean PCS, MCS and VT scores for mid-age women at follow-up were lowest for women who reported recent iron deficiency (in the last two years) and highest for women with no history of iron deficiency [PCS – Recent: 47.8 (95% CI: 47.3-48.3); Past: 49.4 (95% CI: 49.0-49.8); Never: 49.0 (95% CI: 47.8-49.2)] [MCS – Recent: 45.7 (95% CI: 45.0-46.4); Past: 47.3 (95% CI: 46.7-47.9); Never: 47.9 (95% CI: 47.6-48.2)] [VT – Recent: 54.2 (95% CI: 53.0-55.4); Past: 56.7 (95% CI: 55.8-57.6); Never: 58.2 (95% CI: 57.7-58.7)].Longitudinal analyses showed that mean PCS, MCS and VT scores were significantly reduced among mid-age women who reported iron deficiency in the follow-up survey but not at baseline (ie recent iron deficiency) [Mean change- PCS: –2.2 (95% CI: -2.7- -1.7); MCS: -2.3 (95% CI: -3.0- -1.6); VT: –5.7 (95% CI: -6.9- -4.5)].The results suggest that iron deficiency is associated with decreased general health and well-being and increased fatigue.

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