Anaemia in infancy is associated with impaired motor development at 18 months
22 May 2001
Anaemia in children as young as 8 months of age is associated with impaired motor development at 18 months, finds research published in the Archives of Disease in Childhood.
Anaemia in children as young as 8 months of age is associated with impaired motor development at 18 months, finds research published in the Archives of Disease in Childhood. However, anaemia after the age of 8 months had no adverse effect on development at 18 months.
A 10% sample of children participating in the Avon Longitudinal Study of Pregnancy and Childhood (ALSPAC) were invited to research clinics at regular periods postnatally. Blood was taken at 8, 12 and 18 months to determine anaemia status and a developmental assessment using the Griffiths Scales of Mental Development was made at 18 months. Children in the lowest 5% for haemoglobin at 8 months scored significantly lower on the locomotor scale than those above this cut-off point, whereas children in the lowest 5% for haemoglobin at 12 or 18 months of age scored similarly on all assessments at 18 months to those above the cut-off points.
There appears to be a critical period of vulnerability to iron lack in infancy which occurs before 8 months of age. The effects of anaemia may be most closely associated with motor development. Our results indicate that if there is an adverse effect of low Hb on developmental outcome, in particular motor development, then screening may be more effective at 8 months or earlier, rather than after this age.
1. Sherriff A, Bell JC, Emond A, Golding J and the ALSPAC Study Team “Should infants be screened for anaemia?: a prospective study investigating the association between haemoglobin at 8,12, and 18 months and development at 18 months” Archives of Disease in Childhood: 2001. http://adc.bmj.com/content/84/6/480.full
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