A comparative study of iron deficiency in the Indian and the African in Durban.
Mayet, F. G. H.
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The thesis is comprised of a comparative study of iron metabolism with particular reference to iron deficiency in the Indian and the African; Europeans were included when naterlal was available. Fifty four patients with iron deficiency anaemia were studied. There ware 43 Indians as compared with 11 Africans although the overall proportion of Indians to Africans admitted to the same ward was 1 : 4. Amongst the Indians the commonest cause of anaemia from blood loss was peptic ulceration (6 patients); while 3 had cirrhosis of the liver, one had hookworm anaemia and one was a case of ulcerative colitis. Gynaecological lesions were found in 2 patients, one had a proliferative endometrium and the other had endometrial polypi. Idiopathic iron deficiency anaemia was found in 60.5% of the Indian patients (both male and female). Amongst the Africans on the other hand, there were 2 cases of hookworm anaemia and 2 of cirrhosis of the liver while peptic ulceration was suspected in one patient who alao had amoebic dysentery and urinary hllharsiesis. None of the Africans had Idiopathic iron deficiency anaemia with the possible exception of one who had 4 Caesarean sections in rapid succession. There were 175 Indians, 175 Africans and 139 Europeans who were studied haematologlcally during pregnancy. The Incidence of iron deficiency anaemia among them was 26.7%, 2% and 4% respectively. The third aspect of the thesis is confined to an analysis of necropsy materiel for iron stores. Two hundred Africans and 58 Indians were studied. It was found that the incidence of *siderosis" in the African was high. There was a significant difference in the iron concentrations in the stores of the 2 racial groups. It was concluded that iron deficiency anaemia is common in the Indian. Diet appears to play an important role in its production.