Update on Iron Deficiency in Infants and Toddlers Issued

Researchers report latest findings, suggest appropriate iron intake by age

FRIDAY, Oct. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Researchers have updated a policy statement on diagnosing and preventing iron deficiency (ID) and iron-deficiency anemia (IDA) in children up to age 3 based on data from an extensive literature review; their report has been published online Oct. 5 in Pediatrics.

Robert D. Baker, M.D., of the Women and Children's Hospital of Buffalo in New York, and colleagues revised and extended a 1999 policy statement on iron fortifications of infant formulas to update the status of ID and IDA diagnosis and prevention in breast-fed and formula-fed infants and toddlers up to the age of 3 years.

The researchers found recent basic research in support of concerns that both IDA and ID without anemia in infancy and childhood can have long-lasting, detrimental repercussions on neurodevelopment, and determined that health care providers should take strides to eliminate these conditions. The report suggests appropriate iron intake for infants and toddlers and methods of screening for ID and IDA.

"Given that iron is the world's most common single-nutrient deficiency and there is some evidence of adverse effects of both ID and IDA on cognitive and behavioral development, it is important to minimize ID and IDA in infants and toddlers without waiting for unequivocal evidence," the authors write.

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Monica Smith

Monica Smith

Published on October 22, 2010

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