Iron deficiency and child and maternal health

Center for Human Nutrition, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD, USA.
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (Impact Factor: 6.77). 02/2009; 89(3):946S-950S. DOI: 10.3945/ajcn.2008.26692D
Source: PubMed


Iron deficiency is most commonly found in women of reproductive age and infants worldwide, but the influence of maternal iron deficiency on infant development is underexplored.
The objective was to examine the relation between maternal iron status and mother-child interactions in a randomized, double-blind, intervention trial conducted in South Africa.
Women were recruited into the study from a health clinic at 6-8 wk postpartum and were classified as either iron-deficient anemic (IDA) or iron-sufficient after blood analysis. IDA mothers received iron supplements of 125 mg FeSO(4) (IDA-Fe; n = 34) or placebo (IDA-PL; n = 30) daily from 10 wk to 9 mo postpartum. The control group (n = 31) consisted of iron-sufficient mothers. Free-play mother-child interaction sessions were videotaped in the clinic at 10 wk (n = 80) and 9 mo (n = 66) postpartum and coded per the Emotional Availability Scales (4 maternal scales: sensitivity, structuring, nonintrusiveness, and nonhostility; 2 infant scales: responsiveness and involvement).
At 10 wk, scores for maternal sensitivity and child responsiveness were significantly greater in the control group than in the IDA groups (P = 0.028 and 0.009, respectively). At 9 mo, the control and IDA-Fe groups no longer differed. These 2 groups scored significantly better on the maternal sensitivity, structuring, and nonhostility scales and on the child responsiveness scale than did the IDA-PL group (P = 0.007-0.032), whose iron status remained low.
These data indicate that maternal iron deficiency negatively affects mother-child interactions and that iron supplementation protects against these negative effects.

Full-text preview

Available from:
  • Source
    • "Risks associated with IDA include preterm deliveries, LBW, and poor neonatal health (Black, Allen, Bhutta, Caulfied, de Onis, Ezzati, & Rivera, 2008). More recent evidence indicates that maternal IDA is associated with poorer mother–child interaction and infant cognitive development (Frith, Naved, Ekstrom, Rasmussen, & Frongillo, 2009; Murray-Kolb & Beard, 2009). Although the risks for maternal mortality and morbidity need to be understood further, the weight of evidence suggests that iron supplementation during pregnancy is valuable. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Undernutrition during pregnancy and early childhood is a major public health issue in lowand middle-income countries, accounting for 35% of all child deaths. For every child who survives, persistent malnutrition can have serious, sometimes irreparable, consequences on development. This chapter presents the burden and impact of nutritional risk factors in mothers and children for child underdevelopment and discusses the effects of complications like low birth weight/intrauterine growth restriction and stunting on child development. A lifecycle approach to mitigate these risks is described, particularly food and health care in adolescent girls and pregnancy, birth spacing, micronutrient supplementation, exclusive breastfeeding promotion, and social safety nets for children, with special emphasis on integrated nutrition and psychosocial stimulation. Recommendations for health policies and programs in developing countries are made, and knowledge gaps in this field are highlighted. We conclude that an approach in which nutrition is integrated with a broader package of family based services is effective in improving early child development.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2013
  • Source
    • "In this study, ferritin was significantly lower in children with in-attentive and hyperactive types than in controls; this is consistent with other studies [27,28]. No significant difference in ferritin levels was found between children with combined type and controls, and this is not in accordance with the previous studies. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is a behavioral syndrome of childhood characterized by inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity. There were many etiological theories showed dysfunction of some brain areas that are implicated in inhibition of responses and functions of the brain. Minerals like zinc, ferritin, magnesium and copper may play a role in the pathogenesis and therefore the treatment of this disorder. This study aimed to measure levels of zinc, ferritin, magnesium and copper in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and comparing them to normal. This study included 58 children aged 5-15 years with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder attending Minia University Hospital from June 2008 to January 2010. They were classified into three sub-groups: sub-group I included 32 children with in-attentive type, sub-group II included 10 children with hyperactive type and sub-group III included 16 children with combined type according to the DSM-IV criteria of American Psychiatric Association, 2000. The control group included 25 apparently normal healthy children. Zinc, ferritin and magnesium levels were significantly lower in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder than controls (p value 0.04, 0.03 and 0.02 respectively), while copper levels were not significantly different (p value 0.9). Children with inattentive type had significant lower levels of zinc and ferritin than controls (p value 0.001 and 0.01 respectively) with no significant difference between them as regards magnesium and copper levels (p value 0.4 and 0.6 respectively). Children with hyperactive type had significant lower levels of zinc, ferritin and magnesium than controls (p value 0.01, 0.02 and 0.02 respectively) with no significant difference between them as regards copper levels (p value 0.9). Children with combined type had significant lower levels of zinc and magnesium than controls (p value 0.001 and 0.004 respectively) with no significant difference between them as regards ferritin and copper levels (p value 0.7 and 0.6 respectively). Children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder had lower levels of zinc, ferritin and magnesium than healthy children but had normal copper levels.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2011 · Italian Journal of Pediatrics
  • Source
    • "The only widely implemented vitamin or mineral program for women at national level is iron-folate supplementation during pregnancy. When maternal anemia during pregnancy is successfully corrected, it results in an average 20% decline in maternal mortality [78] and improves women's cognitive functioning [79] as well as their capacity to care for their children [80-82]. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Women's nutrition has received little attention in nutrition programming, even though clinical trials and intervention trials have suggested that dietary improvement or supplementation with several nutrients may improve their health, especially in low-income settings, the main focus of this paper. Most attention so far has focused on how improvements in maternal nutrition can improve health outcomes for infants and young children. Adequate vitamin D and calcium nutrition throughout life may reduce the risk of osteoporosis, and calcium supplementation during pregnancy may reduce preeclampsia and low birth weight. To reduce neural tube defects, additional folic acid and possibly vitamin B(12) need to be provided to non-deficient women before they know they are pregnant. This is best achieved by fortifying a staple food. It is unclear whether maternal vitamin A supplementation will lead to improved health outcomes for mother or child. Iron, iodine and zinc supplementation are widely needed for deficient women. Multimicronutrient supplementation (MMS) in place of the more common iron-folate supplements given in pregnancy in low-income countries may slightly increase birth weight, but its impact on neonatal mortality and other outcomes is unclear. More sustainable alternative approaches deserve greater research attention.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2011 · Nutrition research and practice
Show more

We use cookies to give you the best possible experience on ResearchGate. Read our cookies policy to learn more.