Fewer hospitalizations for GI patients with IV iron

  • PLoS One

  • Jenny Blair, MD
  • Clinical Essentials
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Takeaway

  • Among patients with gastrointestinal (GI) disease, treating iron deficiency anemia (IDA) with intravenous (IV) iron correlates with fewer hospital admissions vs oral iron.

Why this matters

  • IDA commonly accompanies GI disease.
  • IV iron replacement bypasses GI malabsorption.

Key results

  • 1491 first encounters (24%) involved IV and 4803 (76%) involved oral iron treatment.
  • Among first encounters in which oral iron was used, 3683 (77%) were followed by another encounter within 30 days, vs 504 (34%) of those that used IV iron (aOR, 0.52; 95% CI, 0.44-0.61).
  • Among 1464 first and second encounters for which visit types were available:
    • Those initially treated with IV iron (n=176) had 70% elective and 30% emergency second encounters;
    • Those initially treated with oral iron (n=533) had 83% emergency and 17% elective second encounters.

Study design

  • Retrospective population-based cohort study of 2 British databases.
  • Researchers captured ~3 years of healthcare encounters of patients with GI disease and IDA (2844 patients; 6294 encounters).
  • Patients were treated with oral or IV iron at initial encounters.
  • Outcome: elective and emergency reencounters within 30 days of initial encounter.
  • Funding: Vifor Pharma UK Ltd., which makes IV iron.

Limitations

  • Retrospective study; few patients treated by IV iron.
  • P-values not reported.