Editorials

Improving iron status in children in poor environments

BMJ 2002; 325 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.325.7373.1125 (Published 16 November 2002) Cite this as: BMJ 2002;325:1125

Rigorous review supports the safety of iron interventions among anaemic children

  1. Andrew Tomkins, professor of international child health. ([email protected])
  1. Centre for International Child Health, Institute of Child Health, London WC1N 1EH

    Iron deficiency among children is common, especially in less developed countries, and affects psychomotor development.1 But the potential risk is that improving iron status may stimulate the development of infection. 2 3 Although iron supplements improve cognition and growth 4 5 of deficient children, they can be harmful. Microbial proliferation is influenced by the iron concentration of the culture medium6 and iron supplements can produce oxidative stress.7 Over the years increased infection rates have been reported after iron intervention.8 Bad news always travels …

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