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Relation of infant iron status at 12 and 18 months to neonatal iron status and postnatal iron intake

Does neonatal iron status predict infant iron status at 12 and 18 months, over and above the contributions of postnatal dietary iron intake? At 12 months our sample consisted of 241 infants from low income families living in Lima Peru. Because of funding issues we could only follow-up 104 of these infants to 18 months. Our data base consisted of maternal hemoglobin assessed twice during pregnancy, neonatal serum ferritin, transferrin saturation and hemoglobin taken from cord blood, 6,12 and 18 month iron intake taken from 24 hour dietary recalls and 12 and 18 month transferrin saturation and hemoglobin levels taken from venous blood*. *Models testing the prediction of 12 or 18 month transferrin saturation were non-significant. 12 month hemoglobin was predicted (R^2 = .12, p<.01) by neonatal ferritin (Beta = .24, p<.01),, neonatal hemoglobin (Beta, .18, p<.05) and 12 month dietary iron intake (Beta = .18, p<.05). The model remained significant after covarying out family demographics and non-iron dietary intake. 18 month hemoglobin was predicted (R^2 = .44, p<.01) only by 12 month hemoglobin (Beta = .63, p<.01) and remained significant when covariates were entered. The overall pattern suggests that both neonatal iron status and dietary iron intake uniquely predict 12 month iron status, which in turn is a primary predictor of later hemoglobin. Research was supported by the National Science Foundation.

Theodore D. Wachs & Hilary Creed-Kanashiro.
Presentation to the Annual Meeting of the American Society for Nutrition (Experimental Biology). Anaheim California, April 26, 2010 ( Poster presentation).