Iron deficiency in children

Young children formula consumption and iron deficiency at 24 months in the general population: A national-level study

Iron deficiency (ID) is considered the most frequent micronutrient deficiency in industrialized countries where strategies for its primary prevention vary widely and are insufficiently evaluated. We aimed to study the effectiveness of the iron status of a national iron deficiency prevention strategy based on recommendations for young-child formula (YCF) use after age 12 months, taking into consideration other sources of iron and the family’s socio-economic status. In a cross-sectional observational study conducted in primary care pediatrician offices throughout France from 2016 to 2017, infants aged 24 months were consecutively included for a food survey and blood sampling. Associations between YCF consumption and serum ferritin (SF) level were studied by multivariable regression after adjustment on sociodemographic, perinatal, and dietary characteristics, notably other intakes of iron. Among the 561 infants analyzed, the ID prevalence was 6.6% (37/561; 95% confidence interval [CI] 4.7–9.0). Daily iron intake excluding YCF and total daily iron intake including YCF was below the 5-mg/day recommended average requirements for 63% and 18% of children, respectively. ID frequency was significantly decreased (or SF level was independently higher) with any YCF consumption after age 10 months (odds ratio 0.15, 95% CI 0.07–0.31), current YCF consumption at age 24 months (median SF level 29 vs 21 μg/L if none), prolonged YCF consumption (28 μg/L if >12 months vs 17 μg/L if none), and increasing daily volume of YCF consumed at age 24 months from a small volume (e.g., 29 μg/L if <100 mL/day vs 21 μg/L if none). Current or past YCF use was independently associated with a better iron status at age 24 months than non-use. The strategy recommending YCF use at weaning after age 12 months seems effective in the general population.

Writer: Anne-SylviaSacri
DOI : 10.1016/j.clnu.2020.04.041

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