Aim of the work: To assess iron deficiency anemia as a risk factor for childhood asthma
and its possible effect on pulmonary functions.
Patients and methods: Cohort prospective study was carried out on 100 children, 6–16 year olds who attended the outpatient pediatric clinic, Benha University hospital with upper or lower
respiratory tract infection, from May 2011 to May 2012, after getting consent from their parents,
they were classified into: group I: 50 children with iron deficiency anemia, subdivided into group Ia: asthmatic children and group Ib: non asthmatic children. Group II: 50 children without iron
deficiency anemia, subdivided into group IIa: asthmatic children and group IIb: non-asthmatic
children. All patients were subjected to full history taking and physical examination, complete
blood count, serum ferritin level, liver and kidney function tests, Plain Chest X-ray P-A view
and pulmonary function tests.
Results: There was no statistically significant difference between the two groups regarding age
and BMI, but a significant difference regarding sex. There was a significant difference between
the two groups regarding the number of asthmatics as they were more in group I. There was a
significant positive correlation between hemoglobin level and pulmonary function parameters
(FEV1, FVC, FEV1/FVC, PEF) in (group Ia). There was a significant positive correlation between serum ferritin level and pulmonary function parameters (FEV1, FVC, FEV1/FVC, PEF) in group Ia however there was no significant correlation between serum ferritin and post-bronchodilators changes in FEV1. There was a statistical significant difference between the anemic group and non-anemic group regarding PFTs as PFTs were better in non-anemic group.
Conclusions: Iron deficiency anemia may be considered as an indirect risk factor for childhood
asthma also iron deficiency anemia may have a negative effect on spirometry of asthmatic children.