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Table 3 Comparisons of 118 adults with pica and 144 adults without pica1

From: Pica associated with iron deficiency or depletion: clinical and laboratory correlates in 262 non-pregnant adult outpatients

Characteristic Report of pica (n = 118)2 No report of pica (n = 144) Value of p3
Age, y 50 ± 15 55 ± 17 0.0041
Women, % (n) 91.5 (108) 84.7 (122) 0.0943
White, % (n) 75.4 (89) 87.5 (126) 0.0113
Body mass index, kg/m2 29.7 ± 8.1 29.3 ± 7.7 0.6667
Fatigue, % (n) 46.6 (55) 41.7 (60) 0.4224
Cardiopulmonary symptoms, % (n) 43.2 (51) 29.2 (42) 0.0180
Epithelial manifestations, % (n) 29.7 (35) 18.8 (7) 0.0387
Mental symptoms, % (n) 5.9 (7) 4.2 (6) 0.5126
Neuromuscular symptoms, % (n) 5.9 (7) 4.9 (7) 0.7013
Gastrointestinal blood loss, % (n) 36.4 (43) 47.2 (68) 0.2411
Reproductive blood loss, % (n) 40.7 (48) 25.0 (36) 0.0068
Epistaxis, % (n) 0 1.4 (2) 0.3011
Hematuria, % (n) 0.8 (1) 1.4 (2) 0.5745
Medical blood loss, % (n) 7.6 (9) 15.3 (22) 0.0564
Chronic malabsorption, % (n) 12.7 (15) 9.7 (14) 0.4429
Unknown cause of iron deficiency/depletion, % (n) 8.5 (10) 6.3 (9) 0.4897
Hemoglobin, g/L 100 ± 22 107 ± 22 0.0251
MCV, fL 75.0 ± 13.0 80.8 ± 9.0 0.0001
RBC × 1012/L 4.15 ± 0.64 4.08 ± 0.70 0.4232
RDW, % 18.6 ± 3.7 17.2 ± 2.7 0.0006
Platelets × 109/L 352 ± 146 305 ± 113 0.0046
Lymphocytes × 109/L 1.9 ± 0.7 2.0 ± 1.0 0.4120
Neutrophils × 109/L 4.3 ± 2.1 4.3 ± 2.1 0.9327
SI, μmol/L 7 ± 5 8 ± 5 0.1304
TIBC, μmol/L 75 ± 13 72 ± 14 0.0476
TS, % 10 ± 7 11 ± 7 0.1124
SF, pmol/L 27 ± 22 34 ± 25 0.0248
Cancer in remission, % 7.6 (9) 18.1 (26) 0.0136
CVID, % 11.0 (13) 18.1 (26) 0.1113
Diabetes mellitus, % 11.9 (14) 18.1 (26) 0.1657
Hemochromatosis, % 0.8 (1) 2.8 (4) 0.2533
Anemia, % (n) 79.7 (94) 69.4 (100) 0.0605
Thrombocytosis, % (n) 20.4 (24) 8.3 (12) 0.0050
Thrombocytopenia, % (n) 3.4 (4) 4.2 (6) 0.5031
Iron deficiency, % (n) 55.6 (80) 69.5 (82) 0.0720
Iron deficiency with anemia, % (n) 43.8 (63) 54.2 (62) 0.1495
  1. 1Results are expressed as mean ± 1 SD or as percentage (n). Abbreviations: MCV, mean corpuscular volume; RBC, red blood cells; RDW, red blood cell distribution width; SI, serum iron; TIBC, total iron-binding capacity; TS, transferrin saturation; SF, serum ferritin; CVID, common variable immunodeficiency.
  2. 2Pica items included: ice (n = 103); ice water (n = 6); salt (n = 4); sugar (n = 3); dirt, soil, or gravel (n = 3); crackers, laundry starch, pickles, or popsicles (2 each); and candy, cantaloupe, carbohydrates, carbonated beverages, chocolate-covered raisins, coffee beans, dry oatmeal, Gummi® worms, lemons, permanent markers, popcorn, raw cabbage (and broccoli and spinach), and strawberry ice cream (1 each). Some patients reported two or more pica items.
  3. 3Comparisons were made using Student's two-tailed t-test, Chi-square test, or Fisher's exact test, as appropriate.