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September 22, 1978

Screening and Prevention of Nutritional Anemia During InfancyA Prospective Study of Food Fortification

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Pediatrics, Beth Israel Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston. Dr Berg is now with the Harvard University Health Services and Dr van Pelt is now with the University of Massachusetts Health Services, Amherst.

JAMA. 1978;240(13):1362-1365. doi:10.1001/jama.1978.03290130056021

No important differences in hemoglobin and hematocrit values occurred among subgroups of a cohort of 295 healthy, mature infants who were fed various dietary regimens of iron-fortified products, including cereal, whole milk, and corn syrup. Among all infants between the ages of 4 and 27 months, the incidence of hematocrit readings and hemoglobin levels below 30% and 10 g/dl, respectively, was 0.6%, and below 33% and 11 g/dl, respectively, was 3.2%.

Because of the low incidence of nutritional anemia after age 4 months, initial screening should be done at 1 to 4 months of age, and selectively thereafter. A formula of evaporated milk and corn syrup plus iron-fortified cereal during early months, then whole milk and a more diversified diet including continued use of iron-fortified cereal during later months of infancy, provides a nutritionally sound and economical diet with sufficient iron.

(JAMA 240:1362-1365, 1978)