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February 28, 1972

Clinical Disorders of Iron Metabolism

JAMA. 1972;219(9):1219. doi:10.1001/jama.1972.03190350055035

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If familiarity does indeed breed contempt, most physicians should have little respect for clinical problems involving iron. We have learned to consider iron deficiency as a common feature of young adult women; we find excessive iron stores in a high proportion of patients with hepatic cirrhosis; and we recognize a block in iron transport as an integral part of the anemia of chronic disease. Despite repeated confrontations and our considerable body of knowledge, we should not be surprised that new subtleties of clinical iron disorders are continually being found or rediscovered. The association of iron depletion in chronic renal hemodialysis, the finding of relative folic acid deficiency in some patients with iron lack, and the effective treatment of acute iron poisoning with the chelating agent deferoxamine illustrate recent advances discussed in this new edition. As stated in the preface, 40% of the 1,700 references were published in the eight years