Developmental problems is a reality for babies born at below average weight but this risk can be lowered by beginning iron supplements early enough, a study showed.
Low birth weight infants carry a higher risk than normal weight babies to develop both cognitive and behavioral issues.
During the study, researchers sought to check whether treating iron deficiency in these infants could reduce the risk of developmental problems later on. They studied 285 low birth weight infants and the results pointed out that nearly 12.7% of the low birth infants who were not put on iron supplements portrayed behavior problems as compared to 2.9% in the group that were on 1 mg. iron supplements and 2.7% in the group that was given 2 mg. supplements.
"To our knowledge, however, the current study is the first randomized trial to show a positive effect of early iron supplementation on neuro-behavioral development beyond 2 years of age," the authors concluded.