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J Pediatr. 2002 Sep;141(3):405-9.

Iron status at 9 months of infants with low iron stores at birth.

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Departments of Pediatrics, the Institute for Child Development, and the Center for Neurobehavioral Development, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, USA.



To determine the 9-month follow-up iron status of infants born with abnormally low serum ferritin concentrations.


Ten infants of >34 weeks' gestation with cord serum ferritin concentrations <5th percentile at birth (<70 microg/L) and 12 control infants with cord serum ferritin concentrations >80 microg/L had follow-up serum ferritin concentrations measured at 9 +/- 1 month of age. The mean follow-up ferritins, incidences of iron deficiency and iron-deficiency anemia, and growth rates from 0 to 12 months were compared between the two groups.


At follow-up, the low birth ferritin group had a lower mean ferritin than the control group (30 +/- 17 vs 57 +/- 33 microg/L; P =.03), but no infant in either group had iron deficiency (serum ferritin <10 microg/L) or iron-deficiency anemia. Both groups grew equally well, but more rapid growth rates were associated with lower follow-up ferritin concentrations only in the low birth ferritin group (r = -0.52; P =.05). Both groups were predominantly breast-fed without iron supplementation before 6 months.


Infants born with serum ferritin concentrations <5th percentile continue to have significantly lower ferritin concentrations at 9 months of age compared with infants born with normal iron status, potentially conferring a greater risk of later onset iron deficiency in the second postnatal year.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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