Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
Peak expiratory flow rate (PEFR) was measured in 254 school going children using the Mini-Wright Peak Flow meter. They were then categorized into group a (n=111), having iron deficiency anaemia and Group B (n=143) with no iron deficiency. Group A children were treated with iron capsules for two months and those in Group B received placebo. The haemoglobin in Group A was between 9-11 gm% in 82% and between 6.9 gm% in 18%. Following iron therapy 90% had haemoglobin above 11 gm% and 10% between 10-11 gm%. Children in all age and sex categories in Group A showed a statistically significant increase in PEFR following (percentage increase 0.6%); PEFR remained unchanged in 40%, declined marginally in 33% and showed a marginal increase in 27%. Pretreatment PEFR was significantly higher in Group B compared to Group A in five of the eight study categories. Post-treatment PEFR in the two groups was statistically comparable in six of the eight categories. In two categories, Group A Children had significantly higher PEFR values than Group B children. Thus this study demonstrates that mild to moderate iron deficiency anaemia in children can adversely affect the lung functions, as made out by measuring PEFR.