In our centre, specialized high dose multivitamin supplementation designed to meet the needs of patients after gastric bypass surgery is routinely recommended in the early postoperative period. The aim of the present study was to analyse whether iron supplementation prescribed in clinical practice is sufficient in both sexes and whether multivitamin supplementation standardized for women might potentially lead to iron overload in men.
This was a retrospective study covering the period up to 36 months after bariatric surgery. Three groups were compared (men, premenopausal and postmenopausal women). The iron status was evaluated employing serum ferritin concentrations.
A total of 283 patients who had at least one follow-up visit between January 2015 and April 2018 at a specialized academic outpatient centre were included (71 men, 130 premenopausal women, 82 postmenopausal women). Thirty-six months after surgery, 33.3%, 68.4% and 54.5% of the men, pre- and postmenopausal women, respectively, were iron deficient. The preoperative prevalence of excess ferritin levels was 13.7% in premenopausal, 3.0% in postmenopausal women, 5.7% in men and declined in the following months.
Iron deficiency is very common after gastric bypass surgery, and even high dosages of multivitamin and mineral supplements might not be sufficient to prevent the development of iron deficiency. Men, pre- and postmenopausal women differ in their prevalence of iron deficiency which demands adapted iron dosage regimens based on the sex and the age. Iron overload is rare in all observed groups and highest in premenopausal women.