Association of Zinc Deficiency with Iron Deficiency Anemia and its Symptoms: Results from a Case-control Study.
Iron deficiency anemia (IDA) is the most common type of anemia. Impaired iron absorption can be caused by a decrease in trace elements as zinc, which is found in the structure of enzymes that coordinate or catalyst iron metabolism. The aim of this study is to detect if zinc deficiency is associated with IDA and to determine the effect of associated zinc deficiency on symptoms of IDA in adult IDA patients. This case-control study included 30 IDA patients with matched healthy control group (n = 30) for age and sex. For each subject, the parameters were evaluated: hemoglobin (Hb); mean corpuscular volume (MCV), total iron binding capacity (TIBC), serum iron, serum ferritin (SF). Serum zinc levels were measured by atomic absorption method with the PerkinElmer Analyst. Symptoms attributed to iron deficiency or depletion, defined as fatigue, cardiopulmonary symptoms, mental manifestations, epithelial manifestations, and neuromuscular symptoms were recorded. Serum zinc levels were lower in IDA patients (43.4 ± 7.9 mg/dL) than in the control subjects (94.7 ± 16.75 mg/dL; p < 0.0001). Zinc deficiency was associated with worse cardiovascular symptoms (p = 0.04), epithelial symptoms (p = 0.027), and restless leg syndrome (p < 0.001) in patients with IDA. Measurement of zinc levels should be considered for IDA patients. With the help of our study, iron and zinc supplementation instead of only iron replacement may be considered in cases of iron deficiency particularly, in patients with severe epithelial dysfunctions. Further studies are still needed to evaluate the benefit of zinc and iron supplementation in IDA patients.
Cureus. 2019 Jan 2;11(1):e3811. doi: 10.7759/cureus.3811.