About My Health Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us
Medindia LOGIN REGISTER
Advertisement

Anemic Young Children Taking Daily Iron Supplements are Smarter, Taller

by Thilaka Ravi on October 16, 2013 at 11:41 AM
Font : A-A+

Anemic Young Children Taking Daily Iron Supplements are Smarter, Taller

Giving daily iron supplements to anemic primary-school-aged children can improve their IQ and offer physical benefits, reveals a study published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

Globally, approximately 25% of school-aged children are anemic, with iron deficiency the cause of about half of all cases. Iron deficiency, which has been associated with impaired cognitive and physical development, is caused by a lack of dietary iron and, in developing countries, by parasites such as hookworm and schistosomiasis. In developed countries, newcomers, native people and some ethnic populations can be anemic. About 3% of primary-school-aged children in Canada are anemic. However, concerns that iron supplementation may have negative health effects limit efforts to address iron deficiencies.

Advertisement

To understand the effects of iron supplementation, Australian researchers conducted an analysis of 32 studies including 7089 children mainly in low- and middle-income countries. Anemic children who received iron supplements had higher cognitive scores than children in the control groups (9 studies with 2355 children). They also showed substantial improvement in IQ scores and other cognitive tests. Children who received iron supplements were also slightly taller for their age and had improved weight-for-age compared with children who did not.

"We found evidence of a benefit of iron supplementation on cognitive performance among primary-school-aged children, including on IQ among children with anemia," writes Dr. Sant-Rayn Pasricha, The Royal Melbourne Hospital and the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences, The University of Melbourne, with coauthors. "Iron may also improve growth. Daily iron supplementation decreased the prevalence of anemia by about 50% and reduced the prevalence of iron deficiency by 79%."
Advertisement

There appeared to be no adverse effects, with no differences in the prevalence of malaria or gastrointestinal issues between the groups that received iron and the control groups. In addition, some studies reported fewer respiratory tract infections.

The study is larger and broader than others, with a comprehensive analysis of benefits and safety of iron supplementation.

"Iron supplementation benefits global cognitive performance ... .Routine daily iron supplementation is likely to benefit cognitive performance in primary school children in developing settings where anemia is prevalent and testing hemoglobin before iron supplementation may not be feasible," the authors conclude.

In a related commentary, Dr. Katherine Gray-Donald, McGill University, Montréal, writes that this meta-analysis "is important in that it quantifies the robust effects of iron supplementation on cognitive performance among anemic children who are iron deficient. The next challenge is to determine how to safely, economically and sustainably provide better iron nutrition to children in many poor settings of the world. Clearly anemic children will benefit, but the risks of iron for all remain to be elucidated."



Source: Eurekalert
Advertisement

Advertisement
News A-Z
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
News Category
What's New on Medindia
Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD)
First Dose of COVID-19 Vaccines May Improve Mental Health
View all

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Height and Weight-Kids Seeds: Nutrient Packed Germs of Life Minerals: Not Just the Gold And Silver Vitamins and Minerals Top Iron-Rich Foods Diamond Blackfan Anemia 

Recommended Reading
Anemia
Anemia is a condition in which the red blood cell (RBC) count or hemoglobin is less than normal....
Aplastic Anemia
Aplastic anemia (AA) is a term that refers to a condition where the body fails to produce enough ......
Iron Deficiency Anemia
Anemia is caused due to deficiency of iron, which makes you feel tired with shortness of breath. ......
Sickle Cell Anemia
Sickle cell anemia (SCA) is a genetic blood disorder caused by abnormal inherited hemoglobin. ......
Diamond Blackfan Anemia
Diamond Blackfan Anemia (DBA) is a rare blood disorder first described in 1938 by two doctors at the...
Minerals: Not Just the Gold And Silver
Minerals are important for our body and are helpful to keep the vital organs functioning. Hence we s...
Seeds: Nutrient Packed Germs of Life
Seeds are the germ of life. They are loaded with goodness and should be included in the daily ......
Top Iron-Rich Foods
Concerned about iron deficiency? Read on for a quick list of the best iron-rich foods....

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2021

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use