Disparity between dietary iron intake and iron status of children aged 10-12 years

K Spodaryk
Archives of Physiology and Biochemistry 1999, 107 (5): 361-6
Iron status was assessed in a representative sample of 188 adolescents living in a medium-sized city in Poland. Dietary intakes were evaluated using records of diet over a period of seven consecutive days. Subjects were considered to be iron deficient when two or more of the following parameters were abnormal: serum ferritin, transferrin saturation or mean corpuscular haemoglobin concentration. Based on this definition, the prevalence of iron deficiency in the investigated sample of children aged from ten to twelve years was 12.7%. Iron deficiency anaemia was defined using the following criteria: haemoglobin values less than 12.0 g. dl (-1) in girls or less than 12.2 g. dl(-1) in boys, combined with an iron deficiency. With such a definition, the prevalence of iron deficiency anaemia in all subjects was 6.3%. Four boys (3.9%) and six girls (6.8%) were diagnosed as anaemic. The values for Hb in the anaemic boys ranged from 10.9 to 12.2 g. dl (-1) and in anaemic girls from 8.7 to 12.0 g. (-1). It was found that the majority of the individuals studied had a dietary haem-iron intake lower than that recommended. No relationship was found between the level of serum ferritin and total iron and vitamin C dietary intake, but there was positive correlation between serum ferritin and intake of haem iron. A seven-day dietary history questionnaire correctly identified children at risk of iron deficiency anaemia.

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