Longitudinal evaluation of externalizing and internalizing behavior problems following iron deficiency in infancy.

Center for Human Growth and Development, Department of Pediatrics and Communicable Diseases, University of Michigan, 300 N. Ingalls, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-0406, USA.
Journal of Pediatric Psychology (Impact Factor: 2.91). 10/2009; 35(3):296-305. DOI: 10.1093/jpepsy/jsp065
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT This study examined externalizing and internalizing behavior problem trajectories as a function of both iron status in infancy and infant characteristics.
A sample of 185 healthy Costa Rican children who either had chronic, severe iron deficiency or good iron status in infancy were followed for 19 years.
Mother ratings of externalizing and internalizing problems from age 5 to 11-14 years were higher for the chronic iron deficiency group compared with those with the good iron status. Iron deficiency in infancy predicted persisting externalizing problems over this time period, especially for those with low physical activity in infancy. Beyond adolescence, youth in the chronic iron deficiency group did not report more problems than those in the good iron group.
These findings underscore the importance of considering infant iron status along with early behavioral characteristics to better identify those children at greatest risk for persisting long-term behavior problems.

1 Bookmark
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Previous research supports the link among malnutrition, cognitive dysfunction, and behavioral outcomes; however, less research has focused on micronutrient deficiencies. This study investigates whether micronutrient deficiencies, specifically blood zinc and iron levels, will be associated with increased behavior problem scores, including internalizing and externalizing behaviors. 1314 Children (55% boys and 45% girls) from the Jintan Preschool Cohort in China participated in this study. Venous blood samples were collected and analyzed for zinc and iron when the children were 3-5 years old. Behavior problems were measured with the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL), which was completed by the parents when children were in their last months of preschool (mean age 5.6 years). General linear multivariate modeling was used, with adjustment for important sociodemographic variables. The results indicate that low zinc levels alone (p = 0.024) and combined low zinc and iron levels (p = 0.022) are significantly associated with increased reports of total behavior problems. We did not find an association between low iron and behavior problems. With regards to sociodemographics, living in the suburbs is associated with increased internalizing problems, while higher mother's education and being female were associated with decreased externalizing problems. This study suggests that micronutrient deficiencies and sociodemographic facts are associated with behavior problems in preschoolers.
    Nutrients 02/2014; 6(2):530-45. DOI:10.3390/nu6020530 · 3.15 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Micronutrient deficiencies and suboptimal energy intake are widespread in rural Kenya, with detrimental effects on child growth and development. Sporadic school feeding programmes rarely include animal source foods (ASF). In the present study, a cluster-randomised feeding trial was undertaken to determine the impact of snacks containing ASF on district-wide, end-term standardised school test scores and nutrient intake. A total of twelve primary schools were randomly assigned to one of three isoenergetic feeding groups (a local plant-based stew (githeri) with meat, githeri plus whole milk or githeri with added oil) or a control group receiving no intervention feeding. After the initial term that served as baseline, children were fed at school for five consecutive terms over two school years from 1999 to 2001. Longitudinal analysis was used controlling for average energy intake, school attendance, and baseline socio-economic status, age, sex and maternal literacy. Children in the Meat group showed significantly greater improvements in test scores than those in all the other groups, and the Milk group showed significantly greater improvements in test scores than the Plain Githeri (githeri+oil) and Control groups. Compared with the Control group, the Meat group showed significant improvements in test scores in Arithmetic, English, Kiembu, Kiswahili and Geography. The Milk group showed significant improvements compared with the Control group in test scores in English, Kiswahili, Geography and Science. Folate, Fe, available Fe, energy per body weight, vitamin B12, Zn and riboflavin intake were significant contributors to the change in test scores. The greater improvements in test scores of children receiving ASF indicate improved academic performance, which can result in greater academic achievement.
    The British journal of nutrition 10/2013; DOI:10.1017/S0007114513003310 · 3.45 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The role of diet in the behavior of children has been controversial, but the association of several nutritional factors with childhood behavioral disorders has been continually suggested. We conducted a case-control study to identify dietary patterns associated with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The study included 192 elementary school students aged seven to 12 years. Three non-consecutive 24-h recall (HR) interviews were employed to assess dietary intake, and 32 predefined food groups were considered in a principal components analysis (PCA). PCA identified four major dietary patterns: the "traditional" pattern, the "seaweed-egg" pattern, the "traditional-healthy" pattern, and the "snack" pattern. The traditional-healthy pattern is characterized by a diet low in fat and high in carbohydrates as well as high intakes of fatty acids and minerals. The multivariate-adjusted odds ratio (OR) of ADHD for the highest tertile of the traditional-healthy pattern in comparison with the lowest tertile was 0.31 (95% CI: 0.12-0.79). The score of the snack pattern was positively associated with the risk of ADHD, but a significant association was observed only in the second tertile. A significant association between ADHD and the dietary pattern score was not found for the other two dietary patterns. In conclusion, the traditional-healthy dietary pattern was associated with lower odds having ADHD.
    Nutrients 04/2014; 6(4):1539-1553. DOI:10.3390/nu6041539 · 3.15 Impact Factor

Full-text (2 Sources)

Available from
May 31, 2014