Get access

Factors influencing iron nutrition among one-year-old healthy children in Sweden

Authors

  • Ann-Cathrine Bramhagen,

    1. Authors: Ann-Cathrine Bramhagen, RN, PhD, Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Health and Society Nursing Science, Malmö University, Malmö; Johan Svahn, MD, PhD, Pediatrician, Department of Paediatrics, Lund University; Inger Hallström, RN, PhD, Professor, Division of Nursing, Department of Health Sciences, Lund University; Irene Axelsson, MD, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Paediatrics, Lund University, Lund, Sweden
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Johan Svahn,

    1. Authors: Ann-Cathrine Bramhagen, RN, PhD, Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Health and Society Nursing Science, Malmö University, Malmö; Johan Svahn, MD, PhD, Pediatrician, Department of Paediatrics, Lund University; Inger Hallström, RN, PhD, Professor, Division of Nursing, Department of Health Sciences, Lund University; Irene Axelsson, MD, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Paediatrics, Lund University, Lund, Sweden
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Inger Hallström,

    1. Authors: Ann-Cathrine Bramhagen, RN, PhD, Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Health and Society Nursing Science, Malmö University, Malmö; Johan Svahn, MD, PhD, Pediatrician, Department of Paediatrics, Lund University; Inger Hallström, RN, PhD, Professor, Division of Nursing, Department of Health Sciences, Lund University; Irene Axelsson, MD, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Paediatrics, Lund University, Lund, Sweden
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Irene Axelsson

    1. Authors: Ann-Cathrine Bramhagen, RN, PhD, Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Health and Society Nursing Science, Malmö University, Malmö; Johan Svahn, MD, PhD, Pediatrician, Department of Paediatrics, Lund University; Inger Hallström, RN, PhD, Professor, Division of Nursing, Department of Health Sciences, Lund University; Irene Axelsson, MD, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Paediatrics, Lund University, Lund, Sweden
    Search for more papers by this author

Ann-Cathrine Bramhagen, Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Health and Society Nursing Science, Malmö University, SE 205 62 Malmö, Sweden. Telephone: +46 40 665 79 40.
E-mail:ann-cathrine.bramhagen@.mah.se

Abstract

Aims and objectives.  To describe possible social, nutritional and biological factors influencing iron intake and iron status among healthy one-year-old children in southern Sweden.

Background.  Iron deficiency is one of the most important nutritional disorders and increases the risk of delayed mental and motor development. Children are at risk because of rapid growth, which entails relatively high requirements of iron.

Design.  A prospective study using survey methods.

Method.  Randomly selected one-year-old children (n = 90) and their parents participated. Parents answered a questionnaire enquiring about demographic data and the child’s feeding and health during the first year. The child’s total food intake and blood samples (haemoglobin, mean corpuscular volume, S-ferritin and transferring receptor) were obtained.

Results.  Twenty-seven per cent of the children had an iron intake below the Nordic Nutrition Recommendations of 8 mg/day (NNR 2004). Follow-on formula and iron-fortified porridge contributed to 64% of the child’s total iron intake. Partial breastfeeding and low maternal education correlated negatively with iron intake from complementary food. In total, 10·3% (n = 9) of the children were found to be iron-depleted (S-ferritin ≤12 μg/l), and 2·3% (n = 2) had iron deficiency with or without anaemia (Hb ≤100 g/l).

Conclusions.  One-year-old children in Sweden may be at risk of developing iron deficiency, but information about iron-rich food can improve iron status.

Relevance to clinical practice.  Knowledge about factors influencing children’s iron intake and iron status may improve the nutritional advice and education from the Child Health Services to prevent or detect iron deficiency.

Ancillary