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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 16  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 335-339

Influence of iron deficiency anemia on growth: A cross-sectional study

1 Department of Pediatrics, Raparin Pediatric Hospital, Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq
2 Department of Pediatrics, College of Medicine, Hawler Medical University, Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Zanyar Hewa Fareeq
Department of Pediatrics, Raparin Pediatric Hospital, Erbil, Kurdistan Region
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/MJBL.MJBL_61_19

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Background: The most important risk factors for iron deficiency (ID) and ID anemia (IDA) are poor iron intake, low bioavailability of iron, chronic loss from the body, and some specific periods of life when the iron requirement is so much like growth during childhood and pregnancy. Objective: In this study, the effect of IDA on physical growth was investigated in children through finding out associations between different growth parameters and IDA. Materials and Methods: In this cross-sectional study, we measured growth parameters in fifty children with IDA before and for 6 months' postiron therapy in comparison with fifty age- and sex-matched normal controls. Annualized growth velocity and body mass index (BMI) were calculated from measured growth parameters. Red blood cell indices and serum ferritin were measured. After a 6 months' period (October 1, 2018–March 1, 2019) from starting treatment of the anemic group, growth parameters and the hematological assessment were measured again. Results: Mean age and standard deviation for cases were 19.1 ± 12.7 months while that of controls were 19.2 ± 12.4 months, and there was no significant difference regarding age distribution P > 0.05. Before the treatment, children with IDA were significantly shorter in comparison to age- and sex-matched controls. The BMI of anemic group increased significantly P < 0.05. Weight, length, and occipitofrontal circumference were also significantly increased after iron therapy P < 0.0001. After receiving therapy, serum ferritin was significantly correlated with growth velocity and BMI for the anemic group: (r = 0.853 P < 0.0001) and (r = 0.460 P < 0.001), respectively. After treatment, the anemic group had a growth velocity 5.2 ± 1.8 which was faster than that of nonanemic one 3.4 ± 1.8, P < 0.0001. Conclusion: This study documented a positive effect of IDA on physical growth in children, especially during the first 2 years of life during which growth is fast.

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