Anemia in patients with ulcerative colitis in remission: A study from western India

Indian J Gastroenterol. 2017 Sep;36(5):361-365. doi: 10.1007/s12664-017-0791-z. Epub 2017 Oct 9.


Background: Anemia is common in patients with active ulcerative colitis. We aimed to study the anemia profile in patients with ulcerative colitis in clinical remission.

Methods: Sixty-four patients with ulcerative colitis and with a clinical Mayo score less than 3 for at least 3 months were evaluated for anemia. Initial screening was done by hemogram and only patients with anemia were evaluated further for the cause of anemia. We also screened a control population for anemia. Patients with mild anemia were given oral iron, moderate anemia were given intravenous iron and severe anemia were given blood transfusion.

Results: The mean hemoglobin in ulcerative colitis patients was 11.75 g/dL and in controls was 13.1 g/dL (p=0.011). The prevalence of anemia was 53.1% in the ulcerative colitis patients and 13.3% in the controls (p=<0.001). 58.8% had mild anemia, 29.4% had moderate anemia and 8.8% had severe anemia. Iron deficiency was the most common cause of anemia (70.5%) followed by anemia of chronic disease combined with iron deficiency in 23.5%. Ferritin levels did not correlate with hemoglobin levels. Oral iron increased the hemoglobin by 1.4 g/dL and intravenous iron by 2.2 g/dL at 1 month.

Conclusion: Anemia was seen in more than half of patients with ulcerative colitis in clinical remission, iron deficiency being the most common cause.

Keywords: Anemia; Iron deficiency; Iron preparations; Remission; Ulcerative colitis.

Publication types

  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • Anemia / epidemiology*
  • Anemia / etiology*
  • Chronic Disease
  • Colitis, Ulcerative / complications*
  • Colitis, Ulcerative / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • India / epidemiology
  • Iron Deficiencies*
  • Male
  • Prevalence
  • Remission Induction
  • Sex Factors