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Am J Clin Nutr. 1986 Apr;43(4):555-65.

Iron deficiency and behavioral development in infants and preschool children.


This paper selectively reviews the main findings of studies on the possible effects of iron deficiency on cognitive function among infants and preschool children published after 1976, and presents data from a study recently conducted in rural Guatemala. In comparison to infants without signs of sideropenia, infants with iron deficiency with and without anemia tend to score lower in the Bayley Scale of Mental Development; conversely, there is no evidence for an association between iron deficiency and delayed motor development. Iron repletion therapy implemented over a period of 7 to 10 days is likely to result in an improvement in mental development scale scores among infants with iron deficiency with or without anemia. In comparison with preschool children without sideropenia, preschool children with iron deficiency with or without anemia are less likely to pay attention to relevant cues in problem solving situations.

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