Iron supplementation following bariatric surgery: A systematic review of current strategies
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Iron deficiency (ID) and iron deficiency anemia (IDA) are common following bariatric surgery; however, there are limited standardized treatment recommendations for their management. The purpose of this study was to review the current strategies for iron supplementation following bariatric surgery and assess their relative efficacy in managing ID and IDA. MEDLINE, EMBASE, and Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials were searched to January 2021. Primary outcomes of interest were prevention or improvement in ID or IDA with iron supplementation. Forty-nine studies with 12,880 patients were included. Most patients underwent Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (61.9%). Iron supplementation was most commonly administered orally for prevention of ID/IDA and was effective in 52% of studies. Both IV and oral iron were given for treatment of ID/IDA. Fifty percent (3/6) of the oral and 100% (3/3) of the IV supplementation strategies were effective at treating ID. Iron supplementation strategies employed following bariatric surgery are highly variable, and many do not provide sufficient iron to prevent the development of ID and IDA, potentially due to poor patient adherence. Further high-quality prospective trials, particularly comparing intravenous and oral iron, are warranted in order to determine the ideal dosage, route, and duration of iron supplementation.
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