Iron deficiency anemia is the leading cause of anemia worldwide and affects many young children and adolescent girls in the United States. Its signs and symptoms are subtle despite significant clinical effects. Iron deficiency anemia is diagnosed clinically by the presence of risk factors and microcytic anemia. Improvement following a trial of oral iron therapy is confirmative. An array of iron laboratory tests is available with variable indications. Clinical trial and iron absorption data support a shift to lower-dose oral iron therapy. Intravenous iron should be considered in children who fail oral iron or who have more complex disorders.
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