Can delayed umbilical cord clamping reduce infant anemia at age 8, 12 months?

January 17, 2017, The JAMA Network Journals
Credit: CC0 Public Domain

A delay of three minutes or more in umbilical cord clamping after birth reduced the prevalence of anemia in infants at 8 and 12 months of age in a randomized clinical trial in Nepal, according to a new study published online by JAMA Pediatrics.

Children with and iron deficiency have associated impaired neurodevelopment, which affects cognitive, motor and behavioral abilities. Fortified foods and supplements are the current treatment but some have suggested delayed cord clamping could be a low-cost alternative that may reduce the risk for . Transfused fetoplacental blood after delivery has been shown to increase iron stores in early infancy, according to the study.

Ola Andersson, M.D., Ph.D., of Uppsala University, Sweden, and coauthors examined whether delayed clamping after birth - waiting three or more minutes - compared with early clamping - waiting one minute or less - would reduce anemia in later infancy in a low-income country with a high prevalence of anemia. The 540 newborns included in the clinical trial were evenly split between delayed and early clamping groups.

The authors report that at 8 months of age, the average was higher in the delayed clamping group and the prevalence of anemia was less. At 12 months, the delayed cord clamping group still had a higher hemoglobin level than the early clamping group and anemia was less prevalent, according to the results.

Conducting the clinical trial in a low-income country contributed to the study's strengths and limitations, which included a high incidence of protocol deviation in the delayed cord clamping group.

"This study shows that delayed cord clamping for 180 seconds was an effective intervention to reduce anemia at 8 and 12 months of age in a high-risk population with minimal cost and without apparent adverse effects. If the intervention was implemented on a global scale, this could translate to 5 million fewer infants with anemia at 8 months of age, with particular public health significance in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa, where the prevalence of anemia is the highest," the article concludes.

Explore further: ACOG: Delaying cord clamping advised for preterm infants

More information: JAMA Pediatr. Published online January 17, 2017. DOI: 10.1001/jamapediatrics.2016.3971

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1 comment

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katesisco
4 / 5 (1) Jan 17, 2017
https://en.wikipe...rd_blood
Wiki states 75ml of cord blood is taken from the umbilical cord if parents do not insist the blood is the child's right. Literature published on the web claims as much as 1/3 of baby's blood remains in the cord when clamped. http://theconvers...th-15420
In most maternity units today, normal practice is to clamp and cut the umbilical cord immediately following the birth. This means babies miss out on between 80 to 100 millilitres of blood that they would naturally get if we waited two to three minutes.
This is so wrong.

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