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362 High Incidence of Iron Deficiency in Healthy Young Infants in the Netherlands: Preliminary Results of the Irostat Study
  1. L Uijterschout1,
  2. PP Teunisse1,
  3. C Hudig1,
  4. WW Rövekamp-Abels1,
  5. SCAT Verbruggen2,
  6. JB van Goudoever3,4,
  7. F Brus1
  1. 1Juliana Children’s Hospital/HAGAZiekenhuis, The Hague
  2. 2Erasmus MC - Sophia Children’s Hospital, Rotterdam
  3. 3VU University Amsterdam, Amsterdam
  4. 4Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam, The Hague, The Netherlands


Background Iron deficiency (ID) and iron deficiency anemia (IDA) during infancy are associated with poor neurological development. A food consumption survey in the Netherlands showed that the median iron intake of infants, aged 2 to 3 years, was below the advised adequate intake of 7 mg/day.

Aim To investigate the iron status in healthy young infants in the Netherlands and to identify risk factors for ID.

Methods We conducted a multi centre, observational study in healthy young infants aged 0.5 to 3 years. We measured serum ferritin (SF), hemoglobin (Hb) and hemoglobin content in reticulocytes (CHr). We measured C-reactive protein (CRP) to identify infections. Parents filled in a questionnaire to identify risk factors for ID.

Results Until now we included 350 healthy infants. Forty infants were excluded (CRP>5 mg/l). ID (SF < 12 µg/l) and IDA (SF < 12 µg/l and Hb < 6.8 mmol/l) were detected in 60 (19.4%) and 27 (8.7%) of the 310 remaining infants respectively. CHr was measured in 249 infants. 32 of 249 (12.9%) infants showed iron deficient erythropoiesis (CHr < 26 pg). Iron intake and use of iron fortified formula were associated with less ID (p=0.02 and p=0.01). Intake of >500 ml cow’s milk/day was negatively associated with iron status (p=0.01).

Conclusion ID is present in 19.4% of healthy young infants aged 0.5 to 3 years in the Netherlands.

Iron status was positively associated with iron intake and the use of iron fortified formula and negatively associated with excessive intake of cow’s milk.

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