Time Is of the Essence for Reducing the Long-Term Effects of Iron Deficiency

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Time Is of the Essence for Reducing the Long-Term Effects of Iron Deficiency

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Friday, June 28, 2013 - 9:00am

CONTENT: Press Release

Cincinnati, OH, June 28, 2013 /3BL Media/ – Iron deficiency is a worldwide problem, especially in developing countries and among infants and pregnant women.  In infancy, iron deficiency is associated with poorer cognitive, motor, and social-emotional outcomes.  In a new study scheduled for publication in The Journal of Pediatrics, researchers report on a 25-year follow-up of infants studied in Costa Rica for iron deficiency.

Betsy Lozoff, MD, and colleagues from the University of Michigan, Oakland University, and Instituto de Atención Pediátrica, Costa Rica, completed a 25-year follow-up of 191 infants (12-23 months old) from an urban community near San Jose, Costa Rica. The original analysis compared those with chronic, severe iron deficiency in infancy with those who were iron-sufficient before and/or after iron therapy.  All infants with iron deficiency received iron therapy for 3 months. Because iron deficiency likely had lasted for months before it was identified and treated, some infants still had reduced iron status even after iron-deficiency anemia had been corrected.

122 subjects participated in the adult follow-up assessment. On average, the 33 adults who had chronic iron deficiency as infants completed one less year of schooling and were less likely to complete secondary school or pursue further education or training, or get married. Additionally, the chronically iron-deficient group rated their emotional health worse and reported more negative emotions and detachment/dissociation.

Although outcomes were better in those individuals who became iron-sufficient after 3 months of iron therapy, this long-term follow-up shows that individuals with chronic iron deficiency in infancy had poorer adult functions in all domains except for physical health and employment. According to Dr. Lozoff, “This observation suggests that poor long-term outcome, at least for overall functioning, may be prevented if iron treatment is given before iron deficiency becomes chronic and severe.” Therefore it is important to prevent iron deficiency, monitor iron status, and initiate treatment as soon as a deficiency is detected.

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Notes for Editors
“Functional Significance of Early-Life Iron Deficiency: Outcomes at 25 Years,” by Betsy Lozoff, MD, Julia B. Smith, EdD, Niko Kaciroti, PhD, Katy M. Clark, MA. Silvia Guevara, MD, and Elias Jimenez, MD, appears in The Journal of Pediatrics (www.jpeds.com), DOI 10.1016/j.jpeds.2013.05.015, published by Elsevier.

About The Journal of Pediatrics
The Journal of Pediatrics is a primary reference for the science and practice of pediatrics and its subspecialties. This authoritative resource of original, peer-reviewed articles oriented toward clinical practice helps physicians stay abreast of the latest and ever-changing developments in pediatric medicine. The Journal of Pediatrics is ranked 4th out of 121 pediatric medical journals (2012 Journal Citation Reports®, published by Thomson Reuters). URL: www.jpeds.com

About Elsevier
Elsevier is a world-leading provider of scientific, technical and medical information products and services. The company works in partnership with the global science and health communities to publish more than 2,000 journals, including The Lancet and Cell, and close to 20,000 book titles, including major reference works from Mosby and Saunders. Elsevier’s online solutions include ScienceDirect, Scopus, Reaxys, ClinicalKey and Mosby’s Suite, which enhance the productivity of science and health professionals, and the SciVal suite and MEDai’s Pinpoint Review, which help research and health care institutions deliver better outcomes more cost-effectively.

A global business headquartered in Amsterdam, Elsevier employs 7,000 people worldwide. The company is part of Reed Elsevier Group plc, a world leading provider of professional information solutions. The group employs more than 30,000 people, including more than 15,000 in North America. Reed Elsevier Group plc is owned equally by two parent companies, Reed Elsevier PLC and Reed Elsevier NV. Their shares are traded on the London, Amsterdam and New York Stock Exchanges using the following ticker symbols: London: REL; Amsterdam: REN; New York: RUK and ENL.

Media contact
Becky Lindeman
+1 513 636 7140

Keywords: Research & Policy | Elsevier | Iron Deficiency | Study | The Journal of Pediatrics | chronic iron deficiency | emotional health | infants | iron deficiency treatment | pediatrics

CONTENT: Press Release