Predictors of iron status in well-nourished 4-y-old children

Department of Food and Nutrition and the Division of Pediatrics, Department of Clinical Sciences, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden.
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (Impact Factor: 6.77). 05/2008; 87(4):839-45.
Source: PubMed


Iron status in childhood is influenced by diet. Other factors affecting iron status at that age are unclear.
The objectives of the study were to evaluate iron status in 4-y-old children, to track that status from infancy to childhood, and to examine the associations of iron status with dietary factors, growth, and heredity.
This study consisted of a longitudinal follow-up at age 4 y of children (n = 127) from the cohort of a study that began at age 6 mo. Blood samples and anthropometry were assessed in both children and their parents; food records were collected from children only.
Dietary intake was not significantly correlated with hemoglobin concentrations, whereas the consumption of meat products had a positive effect on serum ferritin concentrations and mean corpuscular volume in boys (P = 0.015 and 0.04, respectively). The prevalences of anemia and iron deficiency were low, affecting 2 (1.8%) and 3 (2.8%) children, respectively; no child had iron deficiency anemia. There was significant within-subject tracking of hemoglobin and mean corpuscular volume from age 6 mo to 4 y. The mother's but not the father's hemoglobin correlated with the child's hemoglobin over time.
Food choices had little effect on iron status. Hemoglobin concentrations and mean corpuscular volume were tracked from infancy to childhood. In healthy, well-nourished children with a low prevalence of iron deficiency, the mother's hemoglobin was significantly associated with that of her child, but the underlying mechanism is unclear.

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