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Am J Clin Nutr. 2000 Jun;71(6):1485-94.

Lack of hemoglobin response to iron supplementation in anemic mexican preschoolers with multiple micronutrient deficiencies.

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1
Program in International Nutrition, the Department of Nutrition, the University of California, Davis, CA 95616-8669, USA. lhallen@ucdavis.edu

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

In developing countries, incomplete resolution of anemia with iron supplementation is often attributed to poor compliance or inadequate duration of supplementation, but it could result from deficiencies of other micronutrients.

OBJECTIVE:

Our objective was to assess children's hematologic response to supervised, long-term iron supplementation and the relation of this response to other micronutrient deficiencies, anthropometry, morbidity, and usual dietary intake.

DESIGN:

Rural Mexican children aged 18-36 mo (n = 219) were supplemented for 12 mo with either 20 mg Fe, 20 mg Zn, both iron and zinc, or placebo. Children were categorized as iron-unsupplemented (IUS; n = 109) or iron supplemented (IS; n = 108). Hemoglobin, hematocrit, mean corpuscular volume, mean cell hemoglobin, plasma concentrations of micronutrients that can affect hematopoiesis, anthropometry, and diet were assessed at 0, 6, and 12 mo; morbidity was assessed biweekly.

RESULTS:

At baseline, 70% of children had low hemoglobin (</=115 g/L), 60% had low hematocrit, 48% were ferritin deficient, 10% had deficient and 33% had low plasma vitamin B-12 concentrations, 29% had deficient vitamin A concentrations, and 70% had deficient vitamin E concentrations. Iron supplementation increased ferritin from 11 +/- 14 microg/L at baseline to 31 +/- 18 microg/L after 6 mo (P < 0.001) and 41 +/- 17 microg/L after 12 mo. However, anemia persisted in 30% and 31% of supplemented children at 6 and 12 mo, respectively, and was not significantly different between the IUS and IS groups at 12 mo. Initial plasma vitamin B-12, height-for-age, and dietary quality predicted the hematopoietic response to iron.

CONCLUSION:

Lack of hemoglobin response to iron was associated with indicators of chronic undernutrition and multiple micronutrient deficiencies.

PMID:
10837289
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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