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February 1985

Iron Deficiency and Pruritus

Author Affiliations

Department of Dermatology Royal Liverpool Hospital Prescot Street PO Box 147 Liverpool, England L69 3BX

Arch Dermatol. 1985;121(2):170. doi:10.1001/archderm.1985.01660020028007

To the Editor.—  I read with interest the letter by Valsecchi and Cainelli1 in the August Archives, but I found their single reference startling.A similar article had appeared in JAMA2 and prompted me to reply. I stated that work in Europe on this topic dated back to 1967, when Sneddon and Garretts3 described the relationship between itching and iron deficiency.Also, in 1972, Rook et al4 described this condition and, in 1974,I published a paper (Proceedings of the Royal College of Physicians, London, February 1974) in which I described the relationship of iron deficiency to generalized pruritus in 87 patients.I agree with the authors' conclusions but find it strange that data on this problem do not appear in American textbooks.

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