J Perinatol. 2017 Apr;37(4):436-440. doi: 10.1038/jp.2016.234. Epub 2016 Dec 15.

The iron status at birth of neonates with risk factors for developing iron deficiency: a pilot study

MacQueen BC1, Christensen RD1,2,3, Ward DM4, Bennett ST5, O’Brien EA1,2, Sheffield MJ2, Baer VL2, Snow GL6, Weaver Lewis KA2, Fleming RE7, Kaplan J4.

Author information

1 – Division of Neonatology, Department of Pediatrics, University of Utah School of Medicine, Salt Lake City, UT, USA.
2 – Women and Newborn’s Clinical Program, Intermountain Healthcare, Salt Lake City, UT, USA.
3 – Division of Hematology/Oncology, Department of Pediatrics, University of Utah School of Medicine, Salt Lake City, UT, USA.
4 – Department of Pathology, University of Utah School of Medicine, Salt Lake City, UT, USA.
5 – Department of Pathology, Intermountain Medical Center, Murray, KY, USA.
6 – Statistical Data Center, LDS Hospital, Salt Lake City, UT, USA.
7 – Department of Pediatrics and Edward A. Doisy Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, St Louis University, St Louis, MO, USA.

 

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: Small-for-gestational-age (SGA) neonates, infants of diabetic mothers (IDM) and very-low-birth weight premature neonates (VLBW) are reported to have increased risk for developing iron deficiency and possibly associated neurocognitive delays.

STUDY DESIGN: We conducted a pilot study to assess iron status at birth in at-risk neonates by measuring iron parameters in umbilical cord blood from SGA, IDM, VLBW and comparison neonates.

RESULTS: Six of the 50 infants studied had biochemical evidence of iron deficiency at birth. Laboratory findings consistent with iron deficiency were found in one SGA, one IDM, three VLBW, and one comparison infant. None of the infants had evidence of iron deficiency anemia.

CONCLUSIONS: Evidence of biochemical iron deficiency at birth was found in 17% of screened neonates. Studies are needed to determine whether these infants are at risk for developing iron-limited erythropoiesis, iron deficiency anemia or iron-deficient neurocognitive delay.

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