Infant Iron Status

The relationship between moderately anemic mothers and infant hematology (Table 16.4) has been reviewed [3, 46]. There is a general correlation between maternal Hb in the third trimester with the infant Hb at 9 months of age [47]. However, this relationship cannot be observed when the overall prevalence rates of anemia are so high as to remove the possibility that there are "normal" Hb concentrations in both mothers and infants [48]. In a number of others studies reviewed by Scholl, Allen, and Milman, there is a reoccurring theme that maternal anemia may be related to infant anemia in early life on some occasions, but commonly the relationship is more strongly expressed at 9-12 months of age when infant iron stores have been exhausted [2, 3, 46]. Thus, there is the concept that iron-depleted and moderately anemic mothers provide sufficient delivery of iron for infant growth and eryth-ropoiesis in utero, but fail to provide sufficient iron for normal growth and development over the next 12 months of life.

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