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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2013  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 91-95

Thyroid status in Egyptian primary school children with iron deficiency anemia: Relationship to intellectual function


1 Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, Assiut University, Assiut, Egypt
2 Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, Assiut University, Assiut, Egypt

Correspondence Address:
Kotb Abbass Metwalley
Pediatric Endocrinology Unit, Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, Assiut University, Assiut
Egypt
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0973-0354.116131

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Background: Only few studies concerning thyroid status and intellectual evaluation in iron deficiency anemia, which is frequently seen in primary school children in Egypt. Aim: The present study was planned to investigate the effect of iron deficiency anemia on the thyroid functions and intellectual activity of young children in a primary school. Settings and Design: Cross-sectional controlled study. Patients and Methods: This study was carried out on 60 primary school children aged 6-12 year with iron deficiency anemia (Group 1) and 20 children as control (Group 2). Complete blood count, iron, total iron binding capacityferritin, thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH), thyroxine (T4), triiodothyronine (T3), free thyroid hormones (FT4 and FT3), and intelligence quotient (IQ) were determined in all the children included in the study. Results: TT3 and TT4 values were statistically lower while TSH is significantly higher in the study group as compared to control (P < 0.001 for each). Patients with hemoglobin (HB) level < 10 > 7 g/dl had significantly lower levels of serum FT3 and FT4 (P < 0.01 for both) and significantly higher levels of serum TSH (P < 0.05) as compared to patients with HB level <7 g/dl. Serum ferritin was correlated negatively with TSH levels (r = −0.76, P < 0.001) while positively with TT4 (r = 0.69, P < 0.001) and TT3 (r = 0.84, P < 0.001) levels. A significant positive correlation was found between serum level of TT3 and transferrin saturation% (r = 0.78, P < 0.001). Total, as well as performance IQ were significantly lower in patients than controls with P <0.05 for each. Significant positive correlations were observed between both total and performance IQ and thyroid hormone levels and iron status parameters. Conclusion: Egyptian primary school children with iron deficiency anemia especially severe type are liable to develop subclinical hypothyroidism and intellectual dysfunction. A randomized, double-blind, controlled study is needed to address the question of whether subclinical hypothyroidism associated with iron deficiency anemia should be treated with oral iron only or iron and levothyroxine combination aiming to prevent the combined effects of both conditions on cognitive function of the brain. Moreover, more comprehensive studies are needed to elucidate if the effect of iron deficiency anemia on thyroid status is reversible or not.


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