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Iron fortified follow on formula from 9 to 18 months improves iron status but not development or growth: a randomised trial
journal contributionposted on 2023-05-16, 11:58 authored by Morley, R, Abbott, R, Fairweather-Tait, S, MacFadyen, U, Stephenson, T, Lucas, A
Aims - Iron deficiency anaemia is associated, in observational studies, with developmental disadvantage. This study tested the hypothesis that feeding iron supplemented formula from 9 to 18 months of age would improve developmental performance. Subjects and methods - 493 healthy children aged 9 months being fed pasteurised cows' milk were recruited from three UK centres. They were randomised to: cows' milk as before, formula containing 0.9 mg/litre iron, or formula containing 1.2 mg/litre irons until 18 months of age. Bayley mental and psychomotor developmental indices were measured at 18 months, as were growth and haematological indices. Results - Children fed iron fortified formula had higher plasma ferritin concentrations, but there were no significant intergroup differences in development or growth. Conclusions - There are no developmental or growth advantages in children given iron supplemented formulas but a benefit for a minority who were anaemic, or the possibility that a benefit may emerge at a later age, cannot be excluded.
Publication titleArchives of Disease in Childhood
Department/SchoolMenzies Institute for Medical Research
PublisherBritish Medical Journal Publishing Group
Place of publicationLondon, England