Iron supplementation of breast-fed Honduran and Swedish infants from 4 to 9 months of age

Magnus Domellöf, Roberta J. Cohen, Kathryn G. Dewey, Olle Hernell, Leonardo Landa Rivera, Bo Lönnerdal

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145 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: The objective was to study the effects of iron supplementation on hemoglobin and iron status in 2 different populations. Study design: In a randomized, placebo-controlled, masked clinical trial, we assigned term Swedish (n = 101) and Honduran (n = 131) infants to 3 groups at 4 months of age: (1) iron supplements, 1 mg/kg/d, from 4 to 9 months, (2) placebo, 4 to 6 months and iron, 6 to 9 months, and (3) placebo, 4 to 9 months. All infants were breast-fed exclusively to 6 months and partially to 9 months. Results: From 4 to 6 months, the effect of iron (group 1 vs 2 + 3) was significant and similar in both populations for hemoglobin, ferritin, and zinc protoporphyrin. From 6 to 9 months, the effect (group 2 vs group 3) was significant and similar at both sites for all iron status variables except hemoglobin, for which there was a significant effect only in Honduras. In Honduras, the prevalence of iron deficiency anemia at 9 months was 29% in the placebo group and 9% in the supplemented groups. In Sweden, iron supplements caused no reduction in the already low prevalence of iron deficiency anemia at 9 months (<3%). Conclusion: Iron supplementation from 4 to 9 months or 6 to 9 months significantly reduced iron deficiency anemia in Honduran breast-fed infants. The unexpected hemoglobin response at 4 to 6 months in both populations suggests that regulation of hemoglobin synthesis is immature at this age.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)679-687
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Pediatrics
Volume138
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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    Domellöf, M., Cohen, R. J., Dewey, K. G., Hernell, O., Rivera, L. L., & Lönnerdal, B. (2001). Iron supplementation of breast-fed Honduran and Swedish infants from 4 to 9 months of age. Journal of Pediatrics, 138(5), 679-687. https://doi.org/10.1067/mpd.2001.112895