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New Draft Recommendations on Iron Supplements

The US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), an independent, volunteer panel composed of national experts on prevention and evidence-based medicine, has issued two new draft recommendations relating to iron supplementation and screening. One recommendation found inconclusive evidence for routine iron supplementation in healthy pregnant women; the other found inconclusive evidence for routine screening for iron deficiency anemia (IDA) in both healthy pregnant women and healthy children ages 6 to 24 months. While taking iron supplements did increase iron levels in women, the experts did not find that the additional iron improved clinical outcomes such as maternal iron deficiency anemia, Cesarean delivery, preterm delivery, infant mortality, or low birthweight. At the same time, however, even though the experts did not find a conclusive benefit from taking extra iron, they did not rule out the possibility that iron supplements could offer some preventive benefits, and called for more research in the area. Of course, there are certain conditions, such as IDA, where iron supplementation might be appropriate. Be sure to consult a healthcare professional if you are concerned about your iron levels or are interested in taking an iron supplement.

Source: US Preventive Services Task Force

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