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Table 2 Frequency of individual symptoms irrespective of whether mild, moderate or severe (days per week)

From: A rapid, simple questionnaire to assess gastrointestinal symptoms after oral ferrous sulphate supplementation

  Iron Placebo  
Symptom Treatment Wash-out Treatment Wash-out pvalue#
Nausea 1.1 ± 0.6 0.1 ± 0.1 0.2 ± 0.1 0.4 ± 0.4 0.2
(−0.3; 2.5) (−0.1; 0.3) (−0.1; 0.5) (−0.5; 1.3)
Heartburn 1.0 ± 0.4 0.3 ± 0.3 0 0 0.03
(0.1; 1.9) (−0.4; 1.0) (0; 0) (0; 0)
Abdominal pain 2.0 ± 0.6 1.0 ± 0.7 0.2 ± 0.1 0 0.02
(0.5; 3.5) (−0.7; 2.7) (−0.1; 0.5) (0; 0)
Headache 1.1 ± 0.5 1.6 ± 0.6 0.2 ± 0.2 0.1 ± 0.1 0.15
(−0.1; 2.3) (0.2; 3.0) (−0.3; 0.7) (−0.1; 0.3)
Breathlessness 0.1 ± 0.1 0.5 ± 0.3 0 0.1 ± 0.1 0.3
(−0.1; 0.3) (−0.3; 1.3) (0; 0) (−0.1; 0.3)
Diarrohea 0.4 ± 0.3 0.3 ± 0.2 0.3 ± 0.3 0.4 ± 0.2 0.8
(−0.3; 1.1) (−0.2; 0.8) (−0.4; 1.0) (−0.1; 0.9)
Constipation 1.0 ± 0.6 0.7 ± 0.5 0.2 ± 0.2 0 0.2
(−0.3; 2.3) (−0.4; 1.8) (−0.3; 0.7) (0; 0)
Change bowel movements 1.3 ± 0.5 1.5 ± 0.3 0.4 ± 0.3 0.4 ± 0.2 0.15
(0.1; 2.5) (0.7; 2.3) (−0.2; 1.0) (−0.1; 0.9)
Black stools 4.1 ± 0.7 1.3 ± 0.4 0 0 0.0004
(2.4; 5.8) (0.4; 2.2) (0; 0) (0; 0)
  p = 0.002    
  1. Values, derived from boxes ‘C’ and ‘H’ of the questionnaire (Figure 1), are shown as mean ± standard error (95% confidence interval) for the two groups.
  2. #significance value (p < 0.05) between the frequency of each symptom for the Iron treatment period versus the Placebo treatment period.