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Eur J Clin Nutr. 2004 Nov;58(11):1532-42.

Effect of iron supplementation on cognition in Greek preschoolers.

Author information

1
Simmons College, Boston, MA 02132, USA. metallin@simmons.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To examine effects of iron supplementation on vigilance, attention and conceptual learning in preschool children in Greece.

DESIGN:

Randomized Double-Blind Placebo Controlled trial of iron. Randomization stratified by iron status and day care center (DCC).

SETTING:

Nine public DCCs in Athens, Greece.

SUBJECTS:

In all, 49 3-4-y olds (21 anemic, 28 good iron status) with birth weight not less than 2500 g, currently healthy; benign past medical history, IQ > or =1 s.d. below the age-adjusted mean, serum Pb < or =200 ppb (none exceeded 50 ppb), and height, weight and head circumference for age > or =10th percentile. Anemia defined as: (1) pretreatment Hgb <112 g/l and TS <16% and ferritin <12 microg/L OR (2) Hgb rise of >10 g/l (T2-T0) with iron supplementation. Good iron status was defined as baseline levels of Hgb >120 g/l and either TS >20% or serum ferritin >12 microg/l.

INTERVENTION:

The intervention consisted of a 2-month supplementation of 15 mg iron (and MV) vs placebo (MV alone).

RESULTS:

After iron treatment, the anemic subjects made significantly fewer errors of commission (14% higher specificity, P<0.05), exhibited 8% higher accuracy (P<0.05) and were significantly more efficient (mean difference=1.09, P<0.05) than those given placebo. These effects of iron were not found among preschoolers with good iron status. No effects of iron treatment were found on the Oddity Learning task.

CONCLUSIONS:

This study demonstrated that iron supplementation of iron-deficient anemic preschoolers results in an improvement in discrimination, specifically selective attention.

PMID:
15226754
DOI:
10.1038/sj.ejcn.1602005
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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