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Iron deficiency anaemia is a common cause of anaemia worldwide. It is the largest cause of microcytic hypochromic anaemia with its main differential diagnosis being thalassaemia and anaemia of chronic disease. It is differentiated from the other two conditions based on blood tests. It is very important to differentiate between iron deficiency anaemia and thalassaemia as the treatment in both the conditions are exactly opposite. In iron deficiency anaemia iron has to be supplemented but in case of thalassaemia the iron stores are normal and iron supplementation is contraindicated. Iron deficiency anaemia must be spotted early on in children as in the long run it affects their cognitive and psychomotor performance and late diagnosis in thalassaemia can cause lethargy, failure to thrive and jaundice.
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