New light on iron deficiency in young children
(Medical Xpress) -- Research from The University of Auckland and Starship Childrens Hospital has given a new understanding of the risk factors for iron deficiency in young children. This knowledge will allow children at risk to be identified more easily and will help in preventing this serious condition.
The study, published this month in Nutrition and Dietetics, focused on the interactions between a number of known risk factors in a random community-based sample of children between six and 23 months of age, of whom 13 percent had iron deficiency. It showed that certain combinations of risk factors could place children at a much higher risk of iron deficiency than when they occurred singly.
The individual risk factors in the study have long been known, but knowledge of the context gives us a broader and much more clinically useful picture, says Associate Professor Cameron Grant from the Department of Paediatrics at the University. It has allowed us to demonstrate how much one factor can intensify the effects of another. For example, the research findings now enable me to say: Here is a young child who has cows milk daily and only has fruit as a snack (rather than with the main meal) : the combination of these two factors increases the risk of iron deficiency 11 fold. Therefore we know we need to do something about it.
Iron deficiency is common among young children, with estimates from Australasia, Europe and the USA showing that seven to 14 percent of children under two are iron deficient. This is a serious condition which can have many adverse effects, including impaired learning - which may be permanent - impaired weight gain, gastrointestinal problems and impaired immune function.
Known risk factors included in the study were prematurity and low birth weight, increased body mass index, eating fruit only as a snack (rather than in combination with other foods, which helps with the absorption of iron) having no milk formula, drinking cows milk every day, and having only home-made first solids.
One of the worst combinations for deficiency of micronutrients early in life, Dr. Grant explains, is when a baby of low birth weight gains weight very rapidly during the first two years of life.
He also clarifies the relationship between home-made first foods and iron deficiency. Home-made foods are good, of course, as long as they are rich in nutrients but the quality can vary greatly. The commercial products are regulated and consistent in the nutrients they supply.
The research showed the central role of the timing of eating fruit. While eating fruit only as a snack more than trebles the risk of iron deficiency, the risk rises more than three-fold again for a child who eats fruit only as a snack and drinks cows milk every day.
Increased body size is also a greater risk factor when combined with others. Larger children who had never had milk formula had a 14-fold increase of iron deficiency compared with smaller children who had received some milk formula.
The research has helped greatly by giving a quick check-list to assess whether the childs risk level is such that a blood test should be ordered, says Dr. Grant.
The first author on this paper, Dr. Deborah Brunt, completed this work as part of her Master of Health Science degree, which she undertook midway through her medical school training at The University of Auckland. Other researchers in the team were Dr Clare Wall from the Department of Nutrition at The University of Auckland, and Dr Peter Reed, biostatistician at the Starship Childrens Hospital Research Centre .
Provided by University of Auckland
- Overweight toddlers and those not in day care at risk for iron deficiency Sep 04, 2007 | not rated yet | 0
- Not all children's multivitamins are created equal Apr 14, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Maternal obesity puts infants at risk Apr 30, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Micronutrient powder effective in combating anaemia: study Jul 18, 2012 | not rated yet | 0
- Umbilical cord can save lives May 14, 2012 | not rated yet | 0
- Motion perception revisited: High Phi effect challenges established motion perception assumptions Apr 23, 2013 | 3 / 5 (2) | 2
- Anything you can do I can do better: Neuromolecular foundations of the superiority illusion (Update) Apr 02, 2013 | 4.5 / 5 (11) | 5
- The visual system as economist: Neural resource allocation in visual adaptation Mar 30, 2013 | 5 / 5 (2) | 9
- Separate lives: Neuronal and organismal lifespans decoupled Mar 27, 2013 | 4.9 / 5 (8) | 0
- Sizing things up: The evolutionary neurobiology of scale invariance Feb 28, 2013 | 4.8 / 5 (10) | 14
Classical and Quantum Mechanics via Lie algebras
Apr 15, 2011 I'd like to open a discussion thread for version 2 of the draft of my book ''Classical and Quantum Mechanics via Lie algebras'', available online at http://lanl.arxiv.org/abs/0810.1019 , and for the...
- More from Physics Forums - Independent Research
More news stories
Talking on a hands-free device while behind the wheel can lead to a sharp increase in errors that could imperil other drivers on the road, according to new research from the University of Alberta.
Health 18 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
(HealthDay)—More than one in four of those eligible for new premium assistance tax credits under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) do not have a checking account and will not be able to receive premiums from ...
Health 20 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
After studying noise in one French Quarter neighborhood of New Orleans to determine whether or not noise levels exceeded municipal ordinances, Annette Hurley, PhD, Assistant Professor of Audiology at LSU Health Sciences Center ...
Health 22 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
Young children who missed more than half of recommended well-child visits had up to twice the risk of hospitalization compared to children who attended most of their visits, according to a study published today in the American Jo ...
Health 22 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
The individualisation of drug treatments to support patients to self-manage their conditions is a concept that sits at the heart of policy, but a recent study in BMJ Open shows that there is no concrete defini ...
Health May 24, 2013 | 3 / 5 (1) | 0
Coenzyme Q10 decreases all cause mortality by half, according to the results of a multicentre randomised double blind trial presented today at Heart Failure 2013 congress. It is the first drug to improve heart failure mortality ...
3 hours ago | not rated yet | 4
Heart failure accelerates the aging process and brings on early andropausal syndrome (AS), according to research presented today at the Heart Failure Congress 2013. AS, also referred to as male 'menopause', was four times ...
3 hours ago | not rated yet | 1
Women at a particular stage in their monthly menstrual cycle may be more vulnerable to some of the psychological side-effects associated with stressful experiences, according to a study from UCL.
22 hours ago | 3.7 / 5 (3) | 3 |
Two mutations central to the development of infantile myofibromatosis (IM)—a disorder characterized by multiple tumors involving the skin, bone, and soft tissue—may provide new therapeutic targets, according to researchers ...
19 hours ago | 3 / 5 (2) | 0 |
(AP)—Department of Justice lawyers have again asked a federal appeals court in New York to delay lifting age restrictions and prescription requirements on an emergency contraceptive popularly known as the morning-after ...
3 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
Mortality and length of stay are highest in heart failure patients admitted in January, on Friday, and overnight, according to research presented today at the Heart Failure Congress 2013. The analysis of nearly 1 million ...
3 hours ago | not rated yet | 0