Developmental delay in children with iron deficiency anemia. Can this be reversed by iron therapy?.

Henedina Antunes, Sónia Gonçalves, A Teixeira-Pinto, A Costa-Pereira


To compare development of 17 children aged 12 months with iron deficiency anaemia (IDA) and 18 controls without IDA after a 3-months follow-up period and iron therapy in the IDA group.Development of all children was evaluated using the Griffith's Scale. Data was collected on parent's social class and education, breast-feeding, number of siblings and clinical nutritional status.At 12 months children with IDA had significantly lower development scores--mean (sd)--than those without IDA: 112(5) vs. 121(7). At 15 months, after iron therapy, there were no significant differences between cases and controls. Non-IDA children showed significantly lower development scores at 15 months when compared with 12 months (121 vs 115).The study shows that iron therapy can revert some of the adverse effects in the development of children with IDA and therefore both IDA prevention and treatment can be justified.

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