Assessment of Iron Status in a Sample of Infants Aged 6-12 Months in Jerash Governorate, Jordan

Sara L. Hussein, Hamed R. Takruri


This study aimed at investigating the relationship between iron status and the type of milk and weaning solid foods in a group of infants aged 6 - 12 months in Sakeb Health Center in Jerash Governorate, Jordan. In this cross-sectional study, a sample of 119 infants (59 females, 60 males), were recruited , A special questionnaire was used to collect socioeconomic data for the infants’ families, and three- day food recall was also used to collect infants dietary intake data. Body weight, length and head circumference were measured, and z-score was calculated for evaluating the anthropometric status. Hemoglobin (Hb), mean cell volume (MCV) and serum ferritin concentrations (SF) were measured on nonfasting venipuncture blood samples. The studied sample was divided into three groups according to type of feeding: exclusively breastfed group (n=41), formula-fed group (n=49) and mixed-fed group (n=29).The results showed that among infants with Hb <110 g/l, MCV<70fl and SF <12 µg/l, 10.1% had iron deficiency anemia (IDA). Anemia was found in 36.9% when hemoglobin cutoff was taken to be <110 g/l, and depleted iron stores were found in 27.7% using a ferritin cutoff <12 µg/l. Among the breastfed group, incidence of IDA, anemia and depleted iron stores were the highest compared to the other two groups. No significant differences for Hb, MCV, and SF values existed between males and females although female infants tended to have higher hemoglobin, MCV, and serum ferritin values than male infants.Mean intake of iron was the highest among infants of formula-fed group (7.82 mg/day), as compared with breastfed and mixed-fed groups (2.75 and 4.23 mg/day respectively).No significant differences were observed between infants in any of the anthropometric measurements. Based on z-score, 1.7% of infants in breastfed group and formula-fed group were stunted compared with 0.8% in the mixed-fed group, whereas 2.5% of infants were overweight in the formula-fed group.It could be concluded that iron deficiency is common in infants in Jerash Governorate, since up to 10% of the recruited infants developed IDA, 37% developed anemia, and 28% had depleted iron stores.

Keywords: iron, iron deficiency, anemia, breastfeeding, formula feeding

DOI: 10.7176/JHMN/59-05

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