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Screening Tests for Teens (Ages 13-18)

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Not everyone in this age group may need screening for every condition listed here. Click on the links above to read more about each condition and to determine if screening may be appropriate for you or your family member. You should discuss screening options with your health care practitioner.

Iron deficiency anemia

Teens grow and develop rapidly and need iron in their diet to develop normally. If a teen does not consume enough iron, there is a risk of developing iron deficiency. Iron deficiency can cause anemia, a condition that can delay a teen's mental, motor, and behavioral development and create problems that last long after the iron level is raised to a healthy level. Poor motor skills, behavior problems at home and school, and poor performance in school can be the long-term consequences of not receiving enough iron as a child.

Iron deficiency may also be due to a severe blood loss, a genetic disorder, or something interfering with the body's ability to absorb iron, such as a medication the teen is taking or a chronic illness (e.g., celiac disease).

Recommendations
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends teens be screened with a hemoglobin and hematocrit test if they have risk factors for iron deficiency or iron deficiency anemia.

Risk factors for iron deficiency anemia in teens may include:

  • Households with a low income or living in poverty
  • Poor or restricted diet that doesn't provide enough iron
  • Teen girls who begin menstruating can be at risk if they don't consume enough iron
  • History of:
    • Medications that interfere with iron absorption
    • Extensive blood loss
    • Exposure to lead

Link
Mayo Clinic: Iron deficiency in children - Prevention tips for parents 


Sources Used in Current Review

American Academy of Pediatrics. Policy Statement: 2014 Recommendations for Pediatric Preventive Health Care. Pediatrics. Available online at http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/pediatrics/133/3/568.full.pdf. Accessed October 2016.