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Helicobacter pylori infection with iron deficiency anaemia and subnormal growth at puberty
  1. Department of Medicine for the Elderly
  2. Tameside General Hospital, Fountain Street
  3. Ashton-under-Lyne OL6 9RW, UK

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    Editor,—The authors of this paper did not indicate the relative proportions of iron deficient patients identified by using hypoferritinaemia as the diagnostic criterion versus those diagnosed by means of transferrin saturation less than 15%.1 A vast preponderance of the former signifies more robust characterisation of the iron deficient state, given the fact that the area under the curve is significantly greater for the serum ferritin receiver operator characteristic (ROC) than for the transferrin saturation ROC, namely, 0.91 versus 0.79.2 Inspection of the curves also reveals that the likelihood ratio of true positive versus false positive diagnosis of iron deficiency is likely to be much higher when the serum ferritin is less than 12 ng/ml than when the transferrin saturation is less than 15%.2 There is no reason to believe that these observations are not generalisable across the entire age range.


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