Iron Deficiency and Iron Deficiency Anemia in 3–5 months-old, Breastfed Healthy Infants

  • Sudarsan Krishnaswamy
  • Dharmagat Bhattarai
  • Bhavneet Bharti
  • Prateek Bhatia
  • Reena Das
  • Deepak Bansal
Original Article

DOI: 10.1007/s12098-017-2330-4

Cite this article as:
Krishnaswamy, S., Bhattarai, D., Bharti, B. et al. Indian J Pediatr (2017). doi:10.1007/s12098-017-2330-4
  • 34 Downloads

Abstract

Objective

To assess the prevalence of iron deficiency (ID) and iron deficiency anemia (IDA) in predominantly breastfed, 3–5-mo-old infants, born at term, with a birth weight ≥ 2.5 kg.

Methods

The cross-sectional study was conducted in the outpatient department of a tertiary care center from January 2013 through December 2014. Inclusion criteria: Age: 90–180 d, exclusively/predominantly breastfed, birth weight ≥ 2.5 kg and term gestation. Exclusion criteria: systemic illness, leucocytosis, leucopenia, thrombocytopenia, peripheral smear abnormality or iron supplementation. Blood sample was collected for complete blood count and ferritin assay. ID was defined as serum ferritin <12 μg/L. IDA was defined as ID plus Hb ≤ 10.5 g/dl.

Results

Two hundred ninety six infants were initially recruited; 29 declined consent; 22 had leukocytosis, leucopenia or eosinophilia; 15 had thrombocytopenia; 15 samples were hemolyzed or insufficient. Finally, 215 infants were evaluated. The male-female ratio was 1.8:1. The mean birth weight was 2.9 (0.4) kg. The mean Hb was 10.8 (1.2) g/dl. The median serum ferritin was 44 μg/L (18, 120). The prevalence of ID at 3, 4 and 5 mo of age was 5.4%, 21.4% and 36.4%, while that of IDA was 4.6%, 16.7% and 11.4%, respectively.

Conclusions

The prevalence of ID at 4 and 5 mo of age in predominantly breastfed, term infants was 21.4% and 36.4%, respectively. The study generates evidence for considering iron supplementation for well-babies from 4 mo of age, instead of the currently recommended 6 mo by National Iron plus Initiative in India.

Keywords

Anemia Breastfeeding Infants Iron deficiency Supplementation 

Copyright information

© Dr. K C Chaudhuri Foundation 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Hematology-Oncology Unit, Department of Pediatrics, Advanced Pediatrics CenterPostgraduate Institute of Medical Education and ResearchChandigarhIndia
  2. 2.Social Pediatrics Unit, Department of Pediatrics, Advanced Pediatrics CenterPostgraduate Institute of Medical Education and ResearchChandigarhIndia
  3. 3.Department of HematologyPostgraduate Institute of Medical Education and ResearchChandigarhIndia

Personalised recommendations