Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Functional Significance Of Iron Deficiency In Children

Date:
June 6, 1997
Source:
Johns Hopkins Children's Center
Summary:
Children who suffered from severe, chronic iron deficiency as infants have learning and behavior deficits into adolescence.

WASHINGTON---Children who suffered from severe, chronic iron deficiency as infants are disadvantaged with respect to learning and behavior as they enter adolescence, even though their current iron and growth status is excellent, according to a University of Michigan study. Roughly 25 percent of all babies in the world have iron deficiency anemia and many more have iron deficiency without anemia.

Researchers led by Dr. Betsy Lozoff, director of the U-M Center for Human Growth and Development (CHGD) and professor of pediatrics, have been conducting a longitudinal study of 191 infants born in 1981-83 in a lower-middle class community in Costa Rica. The infants, who were screened and treated for iron deficiency, had been previously re-evaluated at five years of age.

Recently, 167 of them were re-evaluated at ages 10-13. "Of the 167 children," said Lozoff, "48 had been severely, chronically iron deficient as infants and 119 had been iron sufficient either before or after iron therapy in infancy. The severe, chronic iron deficient group consisted of children who had had moderate iron-deficiency anemia as infants and those with higher hemoglobin levels with iron deficiency that did not completely correct with iron therapy in infancy."

The most recent evaluation included measures of cognitive and motor functions, scholastic achievement, and behavioral problems. The results were reported last month at the American Pediatric Society Meeting in Washington, D.C.

"At the five-year follow-up, we found that children who had had severe, chronic iron deficiency as infants tested lower than the children who had had better iron status on a variety of measures---visual-motor integration, quantitative or numerical concepts, visual matching, and performance IQ.

"Unfortunately, the trends continued at ages 10-13 and had a negative effect on their scholastic achievement scores," Lozoff said. "Although all of them were in the 'normal range,' we found that the children who had severe, chronic iron deficiency now scored lower on standardized achievement tests---about 7 points lower on tests [100 point scales] of reading, writing and arithmetic, with particularly marked differences in written expression. Sub-tests of IQ measures also determined that they had acquired less general knowledge of the world and were less able to do abstract reasoning. Their motor scores also continued to be lower," Lozoff said.

The children who had severe, chronic iron deficiency also scored higher for behavioral problems, which may have interfered with their learning, Lozoff suggested. "These children had more internalizing problems---they were reported to be more anxious and socially withdrawn and to have more somatic or physical complaints than the children who had had better iron status in infancy. In fact, by U.S. standards, their internalization scores were in the clinical range---that is, they would be considered for mental health evaluation and treatment in the United States."

The researchers will follow the children over the next five years, examining the impact of severe chronic iron deficiency in infancy on classroom grades, retention, need for special education or tutoring, and school dropout rates.

Lozoff's colleagues on the recent follow up study are Eileen Mollen, psychologist and assistant professor, U-M Department of Pediatrics and Communicable Diseases; John Hagen, research scientist at CHGD and U-M professor of psychology; Abraham W. Wolf, assistant professor of psychology, Department of Psychiatry, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine; and Elias Jimenez, director of research, Hospital Nacional de Ninos, Costa Rica.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Johns Hopkins Children's Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Johns Hopkins Children's Center. "Functional Significance Of Iron Deficiency In Children." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 June 1997. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1997/06/970606121500.htm>.
Johns Hopkins Children's Center. (1997, June 6). Functional Significance Of Iron Deficiency In Children. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 15, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1997/06/970606121500.htm
Johns Hopkins Children's Center. "Functional Significance Of Iron Deficiency In Children." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1997/06/970606121500.htm (accessed September 15, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, September 15, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

EU Ministers and Experts Meet to Discuss Ebola Reponse

EU Ministers and Experts Meet to Discuss Ebola Reponse

AFP (Sep. 15, 2014) The European Commission met on Monday to coordinate aid that the EU can offer to African countries affected by the Ebola outbreak. Duration: 00:58 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Despite The Risks, Antibiotics Still Overprescribed For Kids

Despite The Risks, Antibiotics Still Overprescribed For Kids

Newsy (Sep. 15, 2014) A new study finds children are prescribed antibiotics twice as often as is necessary. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
FDA Eyes Skin Shocks Used at Mass. School

FDA Eyes Skin Shocks Used at Mass. School

AP (Sep. 15, 2014) The FDA is considering whether to ban devices used by the Judge Rotenberg Educational Center in Canton, Massachusetts, the only place in the country known to use electrical skin shocks as aversive conditioning for aggressive patients. (Sept. 15) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Respiratory Virus Spreads To Northeast, Now In 21 States

Respiratory Virus Spreads To Northeast, Now In 21 States

Newsy (Sep. 14, 2014) The respiratory virus Enterovirus D68, which targets children, has spread from the Midwest to 21 states. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins