Socio-economic status, iron deficiency anemia and COVID-19 disease burden – an appraisal
Introduction. Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome-2, possesses varying degrees of susceptibility and lethality worldwide and WHO declared this as a pandemic of this century.
Aim. In this background, the aim of this present narrative is to provide a complementary overview of how low iron stores and mild anemia offers protection from infectious diseases like COVID-19 by restricting the viral replication and also to suggest some potential adjuvant therapeutic interventions.
Material and methods. Therefore, we performed a literature search reviewing pertinent articles and documents. PubMed, Google Scholar, Chemrxiv, MedRxiv, BioRxiv, Preprints and ResearchGate were investigated.
Analysis of the literature. Recent studies reported drastic systemic events taking place that contribute to the severe clinical outcomes such as decreased hemoglobin indicating anemia, hypoxia, altered iron metabolism, hypercoagulability, oxidative stress, cytokine storm, hyper-ferritinemia and thus Multi Organ Failure, reportedly hailed as the hallmark of the COVID-19 hyper-inflammatory state. Interestingly it is globally observed that, countries with higher Socio-economic status (SES) have considerably lower prevalence of Iron Deficiency Anemia (IDA) but higher Case Fatality Rate (CFR) rate due to COVID-19 while, low SES countries characterized by the higher prevalence of IDA, are less affected to COVID-19 infection and found to have less CFR, which is almost half to that of the higher SES counterpart.
Conclusion. Present review presumed that,low iron stores and mild anemia may play a beneficial role in some cases by offering protection from infectious diseases as low iron restricts the viral replication.Thus, suggested iron chelation or iron sequestration as an alternative beneficial adjuvant in treating COVID-19 infection.