Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

More infants should receive iron supplements, researchers urge

Date:
September 7, 2010
Source:
Umeå University
Summary:
Giving iron supplements to children with marginally low birth weights (2000-2500 grams) dramatically reduces the risk of developing iron deficiency and anemia.

Giving iron supplements to children with marginally low birth weights (2000-2500 grams) dramatically reduces the risk of developing iron deficiency and anemia. This is shown by Umeå researcher Magnus Domellöf and associates in the coming edition of the pediatric scientific journal Pediatrics.

Related Articles


It has recently been discovered that both birth weight and the infants' nutrition supply are important risk factors for later morbidity in adulthood. Due to high nutritional requirements, infants with low birth weight are at risk of developing nutrient deficiencies during their first year of life, including iron deficiency. Iron is necessary for the production of hemoglobin for the blood, and also for the development of the brain. Iron deficiency in infants has been shown to be associated with poor neurological development.

The present study included 285 children with marginally low birth weights (2000-2500 g). They were randomly divided into three groups that were given different amounts of iron drops (0, 1, or 2 mg per kg daily) from the age of 6 weeks to 6 months. Among children who were given placebo drops (no iron) 36% had iron deficiency and 10% iron-deficiency anemia at the age of 6 months, whereas the corresponding figures for children who received 2 mg of iron were 4% and 0%. At greatest risk of developing iron deficiency were those children who were fully breast-fed at the age of 6 weeks. They ran an 18% risk of developing iron-deficiency anemia by the age of 6 months if they did not receive iron drops.

The study indicates no negative effects from iron drops on the children's growth, infections, or other morbidity. Most children with marginally low birth weights in Sweden are considered healthy and are not given iron drops, although routines differ from one hospital to another. The study indicates that these children should be given iron drops, as they otherwise run a high risk of developing iron deficiency and anemia.

What effects iron deficiency has on brain development is as yet unclear, but the Umeå researchers will be following these children up to the age of 7 years and test their intellectual development, the occurrence of behavioral problems, and attention problems in order to find out whether iron supplements for infants have any effect on brain function at school age.

The findings will have a great impact on nutrition recommendations for children with marginally low birth weights in Sweden and abroad, and they will hopefully lead to improved health in these children when they reach school age. In Sweden 3.5% of all newborns have low birth weights (under 2500 grams), which means that some 300,000 Swedes have had a low birth weight. Most of these people had only marginally low birth weights (2000-2500 g).

The study was performed by Magnus Domellöf and his doctoral student Staffan Berglund, both with Umeå University, in collaboration with Björn Westrup, Karolinska Institute.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Umeå University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Staffan Berglund, Björn Westrup, and Magnus Domellöf. Iron Supplements Reduce the Risk of Iron Deficiency Anemia in Marginally Low Birth Weight Infants. Pediatrics, Volume 126, Number 4, October 2010

Cite This Page:

Umeå University. "More infants should receive iron supplements, researchers urge." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 September 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100906084808.htm>.
Umeå University. (2010, September 7). More infants should receive iron supplements, researchers urge. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 26, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100906084808.htm
Umeå University. "More infants should receive iron supplements, researchers urge." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100906084808.htm (accessed October 26, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Texas Nurse Nina Pham Cured of Ebola

Texas Nurse Nina Pham Cured of Ebola

AFP (Oct. 25, 2014) — An American nurse who contracted Ebola while caring for a Liberian patient in Texas has been declared free of the virus and will leave the hospital. Duration: 01:01 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Toxin-Packed Stem Cells Used To Kill Cancer

Toxin-Packed Stem Cells Used To Kill Cancer

Newsy (Oct. 25, 2014) — A Harvard University Research Team created genetically engineered stem cells that are able to kill cancer cells, while leaving other cells unharmed. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

Buzz60 (Oct. 24, 2014) — IKEA is out with a new convertible desk that can convert from a sitting desk to a standing one with just the push of a button. Jen Markham explains. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

AFP (Oct. 24, 2014) — A factory in China is busy making Ebola protective suits for healthcare workers and others fighting the spread of the virus. Duration: 00:38 Video provided by AFP
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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