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August 1963

Iron Supplementation During First Year of Life

Am J Dis Child. 1963;106(2):201-206. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1963.02080050203014

Introduction  It is now a well-established fact that the so-called physiologic anemia of late infancy 1—occurring between 6 and 18 months of age—is an iron deficiency anemia. It is characterized by decreased hemoglobin concentration, decreased hematocrit, microcytosis, and hypochromia. This is in contrast to the "physiologic anemia of early infancy" which is due to a relative hypoplasia of the erythroid elements of the bone marrow and occurs in the presence of adequate iron stores.The fact that iron supplementation—either orally from dietary or medicinal sources or from parenteral administration—will correct or largely prevent this iron deficiency anemia both in full-term and in premature infants is well accepted.2,3 It has been generally assumed, however, that in "well-nourished" infants who are receiving an "adequate" source of dietary iron, the additional supplementation with medicinal iron would produce no significant difference in hemoglobin concentration or hematocrit values. The purpose of this