Craving for ice and iron-deficiency anemia: A case series from Oman

Youssef M. Osman, Yasser Amid Wali*, Osman M. Osman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Pagophagia, or the practice of consuming ice, is a particular expression of the more general phenomenon of pica. Pagophagia is a complex behavioral phenomenal arising from the interplay of biochemical, hematological, psychological, and cultural factors. This compulsive dietary aberration is observed in many children and pregnant women worldwide. The authors report 3 cases of severe iron deficiency anemia with a serum ferritin level of 2-3 ng/mL, in which the patients were consuming 2 trays and many bags of ice per day. Following treatment with iron therapy, pagophagia spontaneously resolved within 2 weeks. It is a commonly missed problem. Pediatricians should be alert to this phenomena and its association with iron-deficiency anemia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)127-131
Number of pages5
JournalPediatric Hematology and Oncology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2005


  • Ice
  • Oman
  • Pica
  • Ron deficiency

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Hematology
  • Oncology


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