Editorials

Neonatal prevention ofiron deficiency

BMJ 1996; 312 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.312.7024.136 (Published 20 January 1996) Cite this as: BMJ 1996;312:136
  1. Alfredo Pisacane
  1. Senior lecturer Dipartimento di Pediatria, Universita di Napoli Federico II, 80131 Naples, Italy

    Placental transfusion is a cheap and physiological solution

    Iron deficiency anaemia in childhood is common even in socially advantaged populations. Low birth weight, early consumption of cows' milk, fast growth rate, and poor dietary iron intake are considered the main risk factors.1 Iron enriched infant formula and cereals have been shown to be effective preventive measures.2 3 In developing countries, where iron deficiency anaemia is common and iron enriched formula and cereals are often not available, preventing iron deficiency is not easy: infants who enjoy prolonged and exclusive breast feeding have been found to have good iron status,4 but such breastfeeding is increasingly rare; and although medicinal iron is cheap, its use may be culturally unacceptable or difficult to implement. Moreover, dietary iron supplementation can be dangerous in settings where malaria and diarrhoeal infection are endemic2 5 and for children whose iron stores are adequate.6

    Iron stores at birth …

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