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October 1997

Iron Deficiency in 1- to 3-Year-Old ChildrenA Pediatric Failure?

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Pediatrics, Wyckoff Heights Medical Center, Brooklyn, NY.

Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 1997;151(10):986-988. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1997.02170470020003

Objective:  To determine the prevalence of iron deficiency and iron deficiency anemia in children aged 1 to 3 years in an urban population.

Design:  Venous blood was measured for levels of hemoglobin, ferritin, free erythrocyte protoporphyrin, and lead in children seen for well-child visits. Children with histories of chronic illness, prematurity, blood dyscrasias, and acute illness were excluded.

Setting:  The private practice offices of 4 pediatricians in the New York City area.

Patients:  A consecutive sample of 504 children aged 1 to 3 years was included.

Results:  More than one third (35%) of the children demonstrated evidence of iron insufficiency; 7% were iron deficient without anemia, and 10% had iron deficiency anemia.

Conclusion:  Because the association of iron deficiency anemia with mental and psychomotor impairment during the first 2 years of life no longer seems to be in doubt, the high prevalence of iron deficiency anemia found in the 1- to 2-year-old children in this study is disturbing. This suggests the need for greater efforts at the prevention of iron deficiency during the second year of life.Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 1997;151:986-988