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 2 500 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.
Pressofficer Bertil Born; email@example.com; +46-703 886058
Reference: Iron Supplements Reduce the Risk of Iron Deficiency Anemia in Marginally Low Birth Weight Infants. Staffan Berglund, Björn Westrup, and Magnus Domellöf. PEDIATRICS Volume 126, Number 4, October 2010.
Bertil Born | idw
Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia
21.10.2016 | Universitätsklinikum Magdeburg
New potential cancer treatment using microwaves to target deep tumors
12.10.2016 | University of Texas at Arlington
Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.
"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...
In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.
A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...
By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.
"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...
COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.
In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...
'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.
Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...
14.10.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
12.10.2016 | Event News
21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine
21.10.2016 | Information Technology
21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences