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Scand J Infect Dis. 1995;27(4):385-9.

Effect of supplementation with an iron-fortified milk on incidence of diarrhea and respiratory infection in urban-resident infants.

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Department of Pediatrics, University of Texas Medical School at Houston 77030, USA.


To address the hypothesis that increased infectious morbidity is associated with iron supplementation, 783 randomly selected infants were provided with a powdered full fat cow's milk (non-fortified group) and 872 with a powdered acidified full fat cow's milk fortified with 15 mg of iron as ferrous sulfate (fortified group). All infants were followed from birth to 15 months of age with a monthly home visit by a nurse who recorded morbidity occurring during the previous 30 days. At 9 months of age, 15% of infants in each cohort were receiving breast milk only; data for these infants were segregated to make the third group. Episodes (mean +/- SD) of diarrhea/infant/year were 1.06 +/- 1.29, 1.14 +/- 1.37, and 0.82 +/- 1.04 for the fortified, non-fortified and breast-fed groups, respectively; the fortified and non-fortified bottle-fed groups had a very similar incidence of respiratory illness; 2.66 +/- 2.07 and 2.74 +/- 2.24 episodes/infant/year, respectively. The incidence of respiratory illness for both bottle-fed groups was significantly higher than that for the breast-fed group (2.22 +/- 1.84 respiratory episodes/infant/year). We conclude that for the infants the tested form of iron fortified milk, which is sufficient to lower iron deficiency anemia, does not result in an increased incidence of diarrhea or respiratory illness.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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