Background: Several case reports have linked iron deficiency anemia with the occurrence of cerebral venous thrombosis (CVT) or stroke, yet, it is unclear whether this is a chance association.
Methods: In a case-control design data of whole blood count and screening for thrombophilic coagulation abnormalities of 121 prospectively identified patients with CVT and 120 healthy controls were compared. Anemia was defined as a hemoglobin (Hb) concentration of <120 g/l in females, and <130 g/l in males, severe anemia as a Hb <90 g/l. Adjusted odds ratios (OR) were calculated based on a logistic regression model treating variables with a level of significance of p < or = 0.2 on univariate analysis as potential confounders.
Results: Thrombophilia (OR 1.22, 95% CI 1.07-1.76, p < 0.01), severe anemia (OR 1.10, 95% CI 1.01-2.22, p < 0.05), and hypercholesterinemia (OR 1.21, 95% CI 1.04-2.57, p < 0.05) were the only independent variables associated with CVT on multivariate analysis.
Conclusion: Severe anemia is significantly and independently associated with CVT.