Objective: To assess the association between iron status at birth and growth of preterm infants. Methods: Ninety-five premature babies (26 to 36 weeks of gestational age) born from July 2000 to May 2001 in a public hospital in Rio de Janeiro, Southeastern Brazil, were followed up for six months, corrected by gestational age. Iron measurements at birth were available for 82 mothers and 78 children: hemoglobin, hematocrit, mean corpuscular volume and plasma iron. All children received free doses of iron supplement (2 mg/kg/day) during the follow-up period and up to two years of age. Multivariate linear regression analyses with repeated measurements were performed to assess factors associated to linear growth. Results: Growth was more pronounced up to 40 weeks of gestational age, increasing about 1.0 cm/week and then slowing down to 0.75 cm/week. The multivariate analysis showed growth was positively associated with birth weight (0.4 cm/100 g; p≤0.001) and negatively associated with gestational age at birth (-0.5 cm/week; p≤0.001). There was no association between cord iron and mother iron measurements and growth (p>0.60 for all measures). Only two children had anemia at birth, whereas 43.9% of mothers were anemic (hemoglobin <11 g/dl). Also, there was no correlation between anemia indicators of mothers and children at birth (r<0.15; p>0.20). Conclusions: Maternal anemia was not associated with anemia in preterm infants and iron status of mothers and children at birth was not associated with short-term growth of preterm infants.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Infant, premature, growth & development
- Iron, blood