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, 16 (2), 95-103

Is It Possible to Predict the Iron Status From an Infant's Diet History?


Is It Possible to Predict the Iron Status From an Infant's Diet History?

Hyung Jin Kim et al. Pediatr Gastroenterol Hepatol Nutr.


Purpose: Iron deficiency remains a very common nutritional problem despite the improvement in nutrition and increased understanding of methods for its prevention. Thus, we try to create a new method for screening iron nutrition through infant nutrition history.

Methods: Among the children who visited Inha University Hospital from March 2006 to July 2012, 181 children with iron deficiency anemia (IDA) and 52 children without IDA ranging from 6 to 36 months of age were reviewed in this study. We used the age when they began to wean food, the type of sort weaning foods, the time required for successful weaning, iron content in weaning foods, and the duration of breastfeeding for scoring infant nutrition history based on a questionnaire.

Results: The mean score of the IDA group was 7.8±2.6 points, which was significantly higher than that of the control group (5.6±2.1) (p=0.000). If we set up the cutoff value at 6 points, this screening has 86.8% sensitivity and 36% specificity. In addition, as the IDA score increased, there was a falling trend of hemoglobin.

Conclusion: The IDA score does not have high specificity or high sensitivity. However, this study conveys that those patients who record a high score have low hemoglobin. Therefore, we suggest this score system for screening more IDA patients via nonpainful techniques.

Keywords: Breast feeding; Diet; Iron-deficiency anemia; Nutrition; Weaning.

Conflict of interest statement

No potential conflict of interest relevant to this article was reported.


Fig. 1
Fig. 1
Iron deficiency anemia (IDA) score and comparison of the mean scores of the iron deficiency and control groups. The differences in the IDA scores of the patient group and control groups. The mean score of the IDA group (7.8±2.6) was significantly higher than that of the control group (5.6±2.1) (p=0.000).
Fig. 2
Fig. 2
Correlation between the iron deficiency anemia (IDA) score and hemoglobin (Hb) level. The comparison of the IDA scores and Hb levels for all surveyed subjects revealed that the Hb level decreased as the IDA scores increased (R=0.386, p=0.000).

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