Månsson J, Johansson G, Wiklund M, Baigi A, Marklund B. (2005) Scand J Prim Health Care. 23(1): 28-33.
OBJECTIVE: To study symptom panorama in students, to identify undiagnosed iron deficiency, and to evaluate any changes in symptoms and laboratory test results after treatment with iron supplementation.
DESIGN: Descriptive and prospective, interventional study.
SETTING: Healthcare in upper secondary school.
INTERVENTION: Treatment with iron supplementation for a period of 3 months.
SUBJECTS: Students in the first grade of one upper secondary school.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Frequency of iron deficiency related to symptoms measured by a questionnaire (30 questions) on symptoms related to quality of life and 9 questions about diet and exercise.
RESULTS: Iron deficiency was diagnosed in 12% of the students (two or more abnormal laboratory tests) and in 61% of the students one or more laboratory tests were abnormal. Symptoms of vertigo/ dizziness were significantly more common in students with iron deficiency. After iron supplementation there was a significant increase in s-ferritin levels and a decrease in s-transferrin levels, with an accompanying significant reduction of the symptom scores of vertigo/dizziness, irritability, depressive symptoms, and indisposition.
CONCLUSIONS: Symptoms of vertigo/dizziness were significantly more common in students with iron deficiency. Iron supplementation reduced the symptoms of vertigo/dizziness, irritability, depressive symptoms, and indisposition.