• For a fifth consecutive year, Iron Deficiency Day aims to inform about the impact and symptoms of
    iron deficiency
  • Iron Deficiency Day 2019 encourages people to ‘take iron seriously’
  • Supported by the European Kidney Health Alliance, The Heart Failure Policy Network and the
    Anaemia Community focused on the impact of iron deficiency on women’s health, chronic heart
    failure and kidney disease

St Gallen, 26 November 2019 : Iron Deficiency Day is an international event which raises awareness of the serious
impact of iron deficiency and iron deficiency anaemia.

Since its launch in 2015, Iron Deficiency Day has aimed to educate people globally about the importance of iron for
the body and what can happen if iron levels are not properly managed. It encourages people to become better
informed and take control over their health.

Iron deficiency and iron deficiency anaemia is estimated to affect one in three people worldwide2
, yet despite the
serious consequences and high prevalence of iron deficiency,
it is still an under-recognised condition.

Stefan Schulze, President of the Executive Committee and COO from Vifor Pharma said: “At Vifor Pharma we strive
to help patients around the world lead better and healthier lives. We are very proud that we are able to join forces
with The Heart Failure Policy Network, European Kidney Health Alliance and the Anaemia Community to raise
global awareness of the serious health problems associated with iron deficiency and iron deficiency anaemia.”

Iron deficiency, with and without anaemia, can be debilitating and exacerbate underlying chronic diseases, leading to
increased morbidity and mortality.4 The symptoms of iron deficiency can manifest in different ways; they are hard to
determine and can be associated with a number of other health conditions4,5, but common symptoms include:

  • Fatigue
  • Pale skin
  • Brittle nails
  • Inability to concentrate

Iron Deficiency Day 2019 has a particular focus on the importance of iron deficiency in women’s health, and the
connection between iron deficiency and chronic heart failure.

Ed Harding of the European Heart Failure Policy Network said: “Iron deficiency in conditions such as heart failure is
a very serious problem; in Europe 50% of CHF Patients have some form of iron deficiency6
. Iron Deficiency Day has
an important role in raising awareness of these conditions and helping people to understand their symptoms, seek a
proper diagnosis, and ultimately receive the correct treatment.”

For more information visit the Iron Deficiency Day website at[1] and follow on Instagram
and on Twitter, using the hashtags #IDDay2019 #TakeIronSeriously #IronDeficiency #IronMatters.

Contact and further information:

Vifor Pharma Groupis a global pharmaceuticals company headquartered in Switzerland. It aims to become the
global leader in iron deficiency, nephrology and cardio-renal therapies. The company is the partner of choice for
pharmaceuticals and innovative patient-focused solutions. Vifor Pharma Group strives to help patients around the
world with severe and chronic diseases lead better, healthier lives. The company develops, manufactures and
markets pharmaceutical products for precision patient care. Vifor Pharma Group holds a leading position in all its
core business activities and consists of the following companies: Vifor Pharma; Vifor Fresenius Medical Care Renal
Pharma (a joint company with Fresenius Medical Care); Relypsa; and OM Pharma. Vifor Pharma Group is listed on
the Swiss Stock Exchange (SIX Swiss Exchange, VIFN, ISIN: CH0364749348).
For more information, please[2]

Notes to Editors[3]

The site features all the campaign materials including the symptom cartoon characters, Symptom Checker which will
use animations to explain the most common effects of iron deficiency and iron deficiency anaemia in order to
educate people in recognising the condition and seek help. In addition patient testimonials and links to social media
are also available.

As well as in English, the Iron Deficiency Day website is available in German, French, Spanish, Greek, Romanian,
Russian, Arabic, Portuguese, and Italian.

About iron deficiency

Although iron deficiency can affect anyone, it is most prevalent in premenopausal women, pregnant woman and
children under five.7. Left untreated, it can develop into iron deficiency anaemia. The effects of iron deficiency differ
from person to person, but can be linked to an overall decline in general health and well-being.8 Even without
anaemia, iron deficiency can be debilitating, exacerbate an underlying chronic disease and lead to increased
morbidity and mortality.4 Common symptoms include fatigue,5, 9, 10 pale skin,5 brittle nails,5, 11 craving non-food
items such as dirt, clay and ice, 12 and an inability to concentrate.9, 8 In children, iron deficiency can significantly
impair cognitive and motor development.13


1. Hassan, Tamer Hasan et al. “Impact of Iron Deficiency Anemia on the Function of the Immune System in Children.” Ed. Esaki
M. Shankar. Medicine 95.47 (2016): e5395. PMC. Web. 12 June 2018.

2. Peyrin-Biroulet L, et al. Guidelines on the diagnosis and treatment of iron deficiency across indications: a systematic review.
Am J Clin Nutr. 2015;102(6):1585-94.

3. World Health Organisation. Worldwide prevalence of anaemia 1993-2005. 2008. Available at URL:;jsessionid=9C613E2F4D481EDEB9DE07986AFC
[4]. Last accessed: June 2018.

4. Cappellini MD et al. Iron deficiency across chronic inflammatory conditions: International expert opinion on definition,
diagnosis, and management. Am J Hematol. 2017 Oct;92(10):1068-1078.

5. Auerbach M, Adamson JW. How we diagnose and treat iron deficiency anemia. Am J Hematol. 2016;91(1):31-38.

6. Ebner N, von Haehling S. Iron deficiency in heart failure: a practical guide. Nutrients. 2013;5(9):3730-9.

7. Hercberg S, et al. Iron deficiency in Europe. Public Health Nutr. 2007;4(2b).

8. Patterson A et al. Iron deficiency, general health and fatigue: Results from the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s
Health. Qual Life Res. 2000;9:491-497.

9. Fernando B, et al. A guide to diagnosis of iron deficiency and iron deficiency anemia in digestive diseases. World J
Gastroenterol. 2009 Oct 7; 15(37): 4638-4643.

10. Favrat, B., et al. (2014). Evaluation of a single dose of ferric carboxymaltose in fatigued, iron-deficient women–PREFER a
randomized, placebo-controlled study. PLoS One 9(4): e94217. eCollection 2014.

11. Cashman MW, Sloan SB. Nutrition and nail disease. Clin Dermatol. 2010;28(4):420-5.

12. Barton JC, et al. Pica associated with iron deficiency or depletion: clinical and laboratory correlates in 262 non-pregnant adult
outpatients. BMC Blood Disord. 2010;10:9. doi:10.1186/1471-2326-10-9.

13. World Health Organisation. Nutritional anaemias: tools for effective prevention and control. 2017. Available at URL:[5]. Last accessed: June 2018.

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