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Incidence of iron‐deficiency anaemia in infants in a prospective study in Jordan

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Abstract: A high prevalence of iron‐deficiency anaemia has been reported in Jordanian infants.A prospective study of infants in downtown Amman examined the relationship between anaemia in pregnancy and iron deficiency in infancy. The iron status of infants born to 107 anaemic (Hb <11 g/dl) and 125 non‐anaemic mothers was reviewed at 3, 6, 9 and 12 months. Indicators to define iron‐deficiency anaemia were Hb <11 g/dl and either plasma ferritin <12 μg/l or zinc protoporphyrin (ZPP) >35 μg/dl whole blood. Haemoglobin electrophoresis excluded haemoglobinopathy. There was 72% iron‐deficiency anaemia throughout the year, significantly higher in infants born to anaemic mothers (81%; n=91) compared with controls (65%; n=112). At 12 months, 72% of the infants tested (n=195) were anaemic. While 57% were identified as iron‐deficient by research criteria of either ferritin or ZPP, only 37% were identified by ferritin alone, 40% by ZPP alone and 29% if both ferritin and ZPP were required to meet criteria. Most infant anaemia was identified as due to iron deficiency, supporting contextual setting as assisting diagnosis: infants in developing countries are recognised as vulnerable to iron deficiency. Using multiple criteria, more cases were identified when either ferritin or ZPP were abnormal than when one alone, or both parameters were required to meet research criteria.
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Keywords: anaemia; ferritin; infancy; iron deficiency; zinc protoporphyrin

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Bradford, UK, 2: Haematology Research Unit, Bradford Royal Infirmary, Bradford, UK, and 3: Faculty of Medicine, University of Jordan, Jordan

Publication date: April 1, 2000

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