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01.12.2019 | Research article | Ausgabe 1/2019 Open Access

BMC Pediatrics 1/2019

An assessment for diagnostic and therapeutic modalities for management of pediatric Iron defficiency Anemia in Saudi Arabia: a crossectional study

BMC Pediatrics > Ausgabe 1/2019
Hadi J. Al Sulayyim, Ali Al Omari, Motasim Badri
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Iron deficiency anemia (IDA) is a global public health issue that affect more than 2 billion individuals worldwide. However evidence for optimal management of IDA is lacking.


To assess the diagnostic criteria and therapeutic modalities for pediatric IDA employed by physicians in a major public healthcare facility in Riyadh, a validated questionnaire including demographic data and patient case-scenarios related to diagnosis and treatment of IDA was employed. Robust regression analysis was used to identify factors associated with overall score of participants.


Of the 166 physicians surveyed 147(88.6%) were included in the study. Wide variability was observed in IDA diagnosis and therapy practises. For nutritional IDA, only 15.6% recommended no other laboratory tests in addition to CBC. The majority preferred treatment with ferrous sulfate (77.6%) divided into two doses (57.1%), but the total daily elemental iron doses varied widely from 2 to 6 mg/kg. For intravenous iron, 42.9% recommended iron dextran, 32.7% iron sucrose, and 13.4% would continue oral iron. Of all assessed factors, median score was significantly highest in pediatric hematologists compared with pediatricians, family medicine specialists and GPs; p = 0.007, and those work in tertiary care compared with those in primary care; p = 0.043. However, in multivariate robust regression analysis, overall score was only significantly associated with professional qualification [pediatric hematologist β = 13.71,95%CI 2.48–24.95, p = 0.017; pediatrician β = 1.77,95%C (− 6.05–9.59, p = 0.66; family medicine β = 2.66,95%CI-4.30-9.58, p = 0.45 compared with general practitioner].


Wide variations exist among physicians in diagnosis and treatment of pediatric IDA. Intervention programs and national guidelines are urgently needed.
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