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Am J Clin Nutr. 2008 Apr;87(4):839-45.

Predictors of iron status in well-nourished 4-y-old children.

Author information

  • 1Department of Food and Nutrition and the Division of Pediatrics, Department of Clinical Sciences, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden. inger.ohlund@kost.umu.se

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Iron status in childhood is influenced by diet. Other factors affecting iron status at that age are unclear.

OBJECTIVES:

The objectives of the study were to evaluate iron status in 4-y-old children, to track that status from infancy to childhood, and to examine the associations of iron status with dietary factors, growth, and heredity.

DESIGN:

This study consisted of a longitudinal follow-up at age 4 y of children (n = 127) from the cohort of a study that began at age 6 mo. Blood samples and anthropometry were assessed in both children and their parents; food records were collected from children only.

RESULTS:

Dietary intake was not significantly correlated with hemoglobin concentrations, whereas the consumption of meat products had a positive effect on serum ferritin concentrations and mean corpuscular volume in boys (P = 0.015 and 0.04, respectively). The prevalences of anemia and iron deficiency were low, affecting 2 (1.8%) and 3 (2.8%) children, respectively; no child had iron deficiency anemia. There was significant within-subject tracking of hemoglobin and mean corpuscular volume from age 6 mo to 4 y. The mother's but not the father's hemoglobin correlated with the child's hemoglobin over time.

CONCLUSIONS:

Food choices had little effect on iron status. Hemoglobin concentrations and mean corpuscular volume were tracked from infancy to childhood. In healthy, well-nourished children with a low prevalence of iron deficiency, the mother's hemoglobin was significantly associated with that of her child, but the underlying mechanism is unclear.

PMID:
18400705
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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