Iron Deficiency Anemia Prevalence at First Stroke or Transient Ischemic Attack

The Canadian Journal of Neurological Sciences, 03/02/2012

These findings support the initiation of a prospective case control study to investigate iron deficiency anemia (IDA) as a risk factor for ischemic stroke in elderly patients.


  • Ninety-four patients were enrolled.
  • An algorithm containing values for hemoglobin, ferritin, total iron binding capacity, transferrin saturation, and serum transferrin receptor measured at admission was used to identify IDA.
  • Usual dietary intake was assessed with the Clue II food frequency questionnaire.


  • Prevalence estimates were 6.4% for IDA, 2.1% for iron deficiency without anemia, and 6.4% for anemia from other causes.
  • IDA prevalence was significantly higher than published National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey III (NHANES III) estimates for gender-specific age groups ≤70 years (One-Sample Proportion Test; males p = 0.038 [n= 37]; females p = 0.002 [n=44]).
  • A comparison of IDA prevalence against selected controls from the NHANES III database yielded an odds ratio (OR) of 6.3, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.8 to 53.7, which was not statistically significant (Fisher's Exact Test; n=94; p = 0.118).
  • Multivariate linear regression analysis of dietary intake with indicators of iron status (n=58) revealed only iron supplements (p = 0.013) and heme iron intake (p = 0.038) as negative predictors of total iron binding capacity (p<0.05).

Print Article Summary