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Acta Paediatr. 2004 May;93(5):592-8.

Iron status in a group of Norwegian children aged 6-24 months.

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Institute for Nutrition Research, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway.


An adequate iron status is of vital importance for health and development in infancy and early childhood. Iron status was evaluated in a group of full-term Norwegian children followed longitudinally, at the ages of 6 mo (n = 278), 12 mo (n = 249) and 24 mo (n = 231) by measuring haemoglobin (Hb), mean cell volume (MCV) and serum ferritin. At 6, 12 and 24 mo of age, 3, 10 and 12%, respectively, had iron deficiency anaemia (IDA) defined as Hb <110 g/l in combination with ferritin <15 microg/l. With more restrictive criteria for defining IDA (Hb <110 g/l or <105 g/l in combination with ferritin <12 microg/l), the prevalence decreased to 1-2% at 6 mo and 2-5% at 12 and 24 mo of age. If children with a history of fever in the previous month were excluded, the proportion of children with depleted iron stores (ferritin <10 microg/l) increased from 2 to 3% at 6 mo, from 5 to 7% at 12 mo and from 9 to 13% at 24 mo.


Mild iron deficiency anaemia exists among otherwise healthy Norwegian infants and toddlers. The prevention and early treatment of iron deficiency should be a priority for the child health services.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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