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Vifor Pharma supports Iron Deficiency Day 2020 to highlight global impact on health and gender inequality

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Vifor Pharma is marking the sixth anniversary of Iron Deficiency Day, focused on raising international awareness of the serious health impact of iron deficiency and iron deficiency anemia1 – with the support of international organizations including Global Heart Hub, Anaemia Community, the Heart Failure Policy Network and Croí, the West of Ireland cardiac foundation. Iron deficiency and iron deficiency anemia affect an estimated one in every three people worldwide2, with pre-menopausal women, pregnant women and children under five most likely to be affected.6

Silvana Koch-Mehrin, Founder of Women Political Leaders, said: “Iron deficiency in women remains a global problem. It is a debilitating condition that can easily be treated. It is important for women around the world to listen to their bodies, and take the time to educate themselves on what is normal, and what could be caused by a lack of iron. The role of politicians is important in finding appropriate solutions. To this end, Women Political Leaders published a toolkit highlighting target areas for political action, in addition to producing a step by step plan of action. Discussions on the topic continued at this year's Forum Leaders Talk on Driving Equality for a Healthy Society. We look forward to continuing our work in this area in 2021.”

“Iron Deficiency is a highly prevalent and potentially very serious condition that can have a significantly negative impact on health and wellbeing.” said Neil Johnson of the Global Heart Hub. “It is easily diagnosed and very treatable, yet many people suffering from heart failure often dismiss the symptoms of iron deficiency as things to be expected when suffering from heart failure, especially fatigue and breathlessness. Iron Deficiency Day is a great initiative to help educate people on the importance of recognizing the symptoms and encouraging them to seek diagnosis and medical help from their physician.”

“We are proud to have a growing coalition of partners joining us in marking Iron Deficiency Day 2020. Together we have a strong voice underlining iron deficiency and iron deficiency anemia as a major threat to health, particularly among women. Our common objective is helping people around the world to lead better and healthier lives,” Stefan Schulze, CEO of Vifor Pharma Group comments.

A new website takeironseriously.com has been launched to educate individuals and healthcare professionals on the symptoms of iron deficiency, demonstrate the ease of diagnosis and encourage people to seek treatment to protect their health.

Iron plays a vital role in many bodily processes, including the production of red blood cells, effective heart and brain function, and the prevention of infection and illness. Without enough iron the body is unable to function properly. Common symptoms include fatigue, dizziness, and shortness of breath. Iron deficiency and iron deficiency anemia is estimated to affect one in three people worldwide2, yet despite the serious consequences and high prevalence3, it remains an under-recognized condition.

For more information, including an easy-to-use symptom checker, visit takeironseriously.com/raise-awareness and follow on Instagram and on Twitter, using the hashtags #IDDay2020 #TakeIronSeriously #IronDeficiency #IronDeficiencyDay.

Vifor Pharma Group is a global pharmaceuticals company. It aims to become the global leader in iron deficiency, nephrology and cardio-renal therapies. The company is a partner of choice for pharmaceuticals and innovative patient-focused solutions. Vifor Pharma Group strives to help patients around the world with severe and chronic diseases lead better, healthier lives. The company develops, manufactures and markets pharmaceutical products for precision patient care. Vifor Pharma Group holds a leading position in all its core business activities and consists of the following companies: Vifor Pharma and Vifor Fresenius Medical Care Renal Pharma (a joint company with Fresenius Medical Care). Vifor Pharma Group is headquartered in Switzerland, and listed on the Swiss Stock Exchange (SIX Swiss Exchange, VIFN, ISIN: CH0364749348).
For more information, please visit viforpharma.com

Notes to Editors
Takeironseriously.com is intended to provide educational information to an international audience outside the US; it is available in 10 languages. All information on the site is intended for educational purposes only and should not be used to replace a discussion with a healthcare professional. All decisions regarding patient care must be handled by a healthcare professional, and be made based on the unique needs of each patient.

About iron deficiency
Although iron deficiency can affect anyone, it is most prevalent in premenopausal women, pregnant woman and children under five6. Left untreated, it can develop into iron deficiency anemia. The effects of iron deficiency differ from person to person, but can be linked to an overall decline in general health and well-being8. Even without anemia, iron deficiency can be debilitating, exacerbate an underlying chronic disease and lead to increased morbidity and mortality4. Common symptoms include fatigue5, 8, 9 pale skin5, brittle nails5,10,craving non-food items such as dirt, clay and ice11, and an inability to concentrate7,8. In children, iron deficiency can significantly impair cognitive and motor development12.

References
1. Hassan, Tamer Hasan et al. “Impact of Iron Deficiency Anemia on the Function of the Immune System in Children.” Ed. Esaki M. Shankar. Medicine 95.47 (2016): e5395. PMC. Web. 12 June 2018.
2. Peyrin-Biroulet L, et al. Guidelines on the diagnosis and treatment of iron deficiency across indications: a systematic review. Am J Clin Nutr. 2015;102(6):1585-94.
3. World Health Organization. Worldwide prevalence of anaemia 1993-2005. 2008. Available at URL: http://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/43894/9789241596657_eng.pdf;jsessionid=9C613E2F4D481EDEB9DE07986AFCE0C7?sequence=1. Last accessed: June 2018.
4. Cappellini MD et al. Iron deficiency across chronic inflammatory conditions: International expert opinion on definition, diagnosis, and management. Am J Hematol. 2017 Oct;92(10):1068-1078.
5. Auerbach M, Adamson JW. How we diagnose and treat iron deficiency anemia. Am J Hematol. 2016;91(1):31-38.
6. Hercberg S, et al. Iron deficiency in Europe. Public Health Nutr. 2007;4(2b).
7. Patterson A et al. Iron deficiency, general health and fatigue: Results from the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health. Qual Life Res. 2000;9:491-497.
8. Fernando B, et al. A guide to diagnosis of iron deficiency and iron deficiency anemia in digestive diseases. World J Gastroenterol. 2009 Oct 7; 15(37): 4638-4643.
9. Favrat, B., et al. (2014). Evaluation of a single dose of ferric carboxymaltose in fatigued, iron-deficient women--PREFER a randomized, placebo-controlled study. PLoS One 9(4): e94217. eCollection 2014. <
10. Cashman MW, Sloan SB. Nutrition and nail disease. Clin Dermatol. 2010;28(4):420-5.
11. Barton JC, et al. Pica associated with iron deficiency or depletion: clinical and laboratory correlates in 262 non-pregnant adult outpatients. BMC Blood Disord. 2010;10:9. doi:10.1186/1471-2326-10-9.
12. World Health Organization. Nutritional anaemias: tools for effective prevention and control. 2017. Available at URL: http://www.who.int/nutrition/publications/micronutrients/anaemias-tools-prevention-control/en/. Last accessed: June 2018.

Contact information

Contact and further information:
Media Relations
Nathalie Ponnier
Global Head Corporate Communications
+41 79 957 96 73
media@viforpharma.com

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