Benefits of Iron supplementation for low birth weight infants: A systematic review Full Text
BMC Pediatrics, 07/17/2012
Long H et al. – The available data suggest that iron supplementation increases the levels of hematologic indicators of iron status and reduces the prevalence of IDA/ID in low birth weight/premature infants. There is insufficient evidence to make a definitive statement regarding the effects of iron supplementation on growth, neurodevelopment, or the occurrence of adverse effects in low birth weight/premature infants.Methods
- They searched the Cochrane Library, Medline, and PubMed for articles reporting on the effects of iron supplementation in low weight infants.
- The following search terms were used: "preterm born infant(s)/children"; "preterm infants"; "prematurely born children" "weight less than 1500 g at birth"; "born prematurely"; "low birth weight infant(s)"; "infants born preterm"; "prematurity"; "small-for-gestational age"; "very small gestational age infants"; "iron supplementation"; "iron intake"; "iron supplements"; "ferric and/or ferrous compounds"; and "ferrous sulphate/fumarate/sulfate".
- A total of 15 studies were identified and included in the systematic review.
- Supplemental iron was given orally or as an iron-fortified formula in 14/15 studies.
- The duration of treatment ranged from 1 week to 18 months. Iron supplementation significantly increased hematologic measures of iron status (including hemoglobin, hematocrit, serum ferritin) relative to placebo or over time in most studies.
- All controlled studies that examined iron-deficiency anemia (IDA)/ID reported a decreased prevalence of IDA/ID with iron supplementation.
- Dose dependent decreases in the prevalence of IDA/ID were reported in several studies.
- Of the 5 studies reporting on growth, none found any significant effect on growth-related parameters (length, height, weight, and head circumference).