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.

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 21, 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 21, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

How Nigeria Beat Its Ebola Outbreak

How Nigeria Beat Its Ebola Outbreak

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) — The World Health Organization has declared Nigeria free of Ebola. Health experts credit a bit of luck and the government's initial response. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Another Study Suggests Viagra Is Good For The Heart

Another Study Suggests Viagra Is Good For The Heart

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) — An ingredient in erectile-dysfunction medications such as Viagra could improve heart function. Perhaps not surprising, given Viagra's history. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Worries End for Dozens on U.S. Watch Lists

Ebola Worries End for Dozens on U.S. Watch Lists

Reuters - US Online Video (Oct. 20, 2014) — Forty-three people who had contact with Thomas Eric Duncan, the first person diagnosed with Ebola in the U.S., were cleared overnight of twice-daily monitoring after 21 days of showing no symptoms. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
CDC Calls for New Ebola Safety Guidelines

CDC Calls for New Ebola Safety Guidelines

AP (Oct. 20, 2014) — Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Tom Frieden laid out new guidelines for health care workers when dealing with the deadly Ebola virus including new precautions when taking off personal protective equipment. (Oct. 20) Video provided by AP
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