J Clin Nutr.  2019 Dec;11(2):52-57. 10.15747/jcn.2019.11.2.52.

The Need for Early Screening for Iron Deficiency Anemia in 9- to 12-Month-Old Infants

  • 1Department of Pediatrics, Chung-Ang University Hospital, Seoul, Korea. piena81@cau.ac.kr


Growth and development of infants can be periodically assessed through health screening, but iron deficiency anemia, which is common in infants, is difficult to detect by conducting only infant health screening. This study evaluated the prevalence of iron deficiency anemia in infants who visited Chung-Ang university hospital between 9 and 12 months of age. The study also determined the difference of anemia between term and preterm infants.
The subjects of this study were infants aged 9 to 12 months who visited outpatient clinics of Chung-Ang University Hospital from January 2006 to August 2018 for the purpose of infant health screening and immunizations. We divided the subjects as the term group and the preterm group, and their medical records were retrospectively analyzed.
One hundred and fifty-two infants were included in the study. There were 51 in the preterm infant group and 101 in the term infant group. Thirteen infants were diagnosed with iron deficiency anemia, and 12 infants of these infants were in the term group and one infant was in the preterm group, which was statistically significant (P<0.001). There are significant differences in the hemoglobin (12.0±1.1 g/dL, 12.6±1.2 g/dL), hematocrit (35.8%±2.7%, 36.7%±3.2%), serum iron (60.8±25.4 µg/dL, 73.5±40.9 µg/dL), and unsaturated iron binding capacity (279.1±67.7 µg/dL, 252.0±47.5 µg/dL) between the term infant group and the preterm infant group, respectively (P<0.05).
Iron deficiency anemia was significantly more often diagnosed in term infants than that in preterm infants. Preterm infants may have a lower prevalence of iron deficiency anemia than do term infants because the preterm infants are taking iron supplements prophylactically. Therefore, iron deficiency anemia should be prevented in term infants, and it is important to confirm the presence of iron deficiency anemia by conducting blood tests during the first 9 to 12 months of life.


Anemia; Iron-deficiency; Infant
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