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Original Contribution
February 1, 1964

The Etiological Role of Chronic Iron Deficiency in Production of Menorrhagia

Author Affiliations


From the Department of Surgery, Peter Bent Brigham Hospital, and the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Harvard Medical School.

JAMA. 1964;187(5):323-327. doi:10.1001/jama.1964.03060180009002

In 74 of 83 patients complaining of menorrhagia and having lowered serum iron levels and no demonstrable organic pathology, satisfactory responses to iron therapy alone were obtained. A high rate of organic pathology was discovered in those patients who failed to respond. In patients complaining of menorrhagia and being treated with iron irrespective of serum iron level, there was a decreased incidence of improvement when the initial serum iron levels were high. The presence or absence of menorrhagia correlated well with the level of tissue iron stores as noted by sternal marrow biopsy. In a double-blind placebo study, 75% of patients receiving iron described improvement in their menorrhagia as opposed to 32.5% of patients who improved on a placebo. It was concluded that chronic iron deficiency can be a cause as well as a result of menorrhagia.