Aim Because of economic burdens, ferritin level is being routinely measured locally to determine iron status. Here the association between hyperactivity and iron depletion was evaluated.
Methods School aged children presented with hyperactivity (n = 20) had their serum iron, ferritin, full blood count measured. Furthermore, serum manganese were measured in 6 children. Hyperactivity was diagnosed using Connor's questionnaires and observation.
Results Serum ferritin were normal (ranged between 30-40 micg/l). Serum iron levels were low, ranged between 3-5 micg/l. Serum manganese levels were elevated, range 291-392 micg/l. Patients were treated with supplemental oral iron and diet advice. With increase in serum iron to normal ranges, symptoms of hyperactivity tended to improve (Connor's questionnaire).
Conclusion Serum iron but not ferritin should be measured to determine iron status in as much as iron depletion is implicated in part for hyperactivity.