Volume 15, Issue 6_Part_2
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645


Preface. A number of studies have shown the prevalence of anemia in tropical areas—in great majority of the iron deficiency type—to be staggering; and it is probable that lack of iron is even more widespread than figures for circulating hemoglobin would indicate, if the rate of intestinal absorption for this substance can be taken as an early indication of its want.

Yet the reasons for the wide distribution of iron deficiency are not clearly known: in affected areas, often iron ingestion is relatively high, hookworm infections may be of low intensity, and there are no other obvious avenues of iron loss.

More information of a quantitative nature on the subject of iron metabolism in the tropics and its relation with anemia and hookworm was clearly needed, and, in 1955, we began measuring, in Venezuelan rural populations, chiefly by means of radioactive isotopes, various factors which influence the utilization and loss of iron.


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