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Iron Deficiency Anemia Across the Lifespan


Iron Deficiency Anemia Across the Lifespan

University of Central Florida College of Medicine
Monica Bailey, "Mariana Dangiolo, MD"
POGOe Id: 
Date Posted: 
Date Reviewed/Updated for Clinical Accuracy: 

The Iron Deficiency Anemia across the Lifespan module was created for first-year medical students in the Cellular Function in Medical Genetics Course. The purpose of the module is to teach first-year medical students the basic biochemistry of anemia, the metabolism of iron and common clinical presentations of anemia.

Iron deficiency anemia (IDA) is the most common nutritional deficiency; therefore it is likely that most students will care for patients with IDA sometime during their career. While Anemia is one of the most frequent problems encountered in Primary Care, its diagnosis could be easily overlooked, as the clinical presentation is not usually classic/traditional. For example: tiredness, and lack of energy, may be mistakenly attributed to aging instead of that to anemia. Therefore we thought that an important competency that students need to demonstrate early during training is the ability to recognize clinical presentations of iron deficiency anemia in different age groups. Early exposure and thorough understanding of IDA presentation across the lifespan is important to preparing learners to recognize and treat IDA effectively.

This module incorporates interactive case studies related to the profile of three at risk populations. The case studies are provided at the end of the module for learners to apply principles to virtual patient cases. The module is designed to enhance learning by comparing and contrasting between IDA signs, symptoms and treatment throughout the lifespan. The clinical symptoms and presentations of the cases are adequate for first-semester medical students. Students were given an hour to complete the module, which should be sufficient for students in their first year.

Educational objectives: 
  • Identify common conditions that might predispose a patient to iron deficiency anemia (IDA).
  • Interpret the signs, symptoms, and laboratory values that are associated with IDA.
  • Evaluate three case studies resembling groups that are at high risk for IDA.
Estimated time to complete: 
1 hour
Resident Level Competencies: 
Conflict of Interest Disclosure: 
No, I (we) have nothing to disclose.
Contact Person/Corresponding Author:
"""Mariana Dangiolo, MD"""

Suggested Citation:
Iron Deficiency Anemia Across the Lifespan. POGOe - Portal of Geriatrics Online Education; 2018 Available from: