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Keywords:

  • Depleted iron stores;
  • haemoglobin (Hb);
  • mean corpuscular volume (MCV);
  • motor and verbal development;
  • serum ferritin (SF)

Abstract

Aim: To examine the association between iron status at 1 and 6 years with development at 6 years.

Methods: In a longitudinal study of children (n = 77), iron status was measured at 1 and 6 years and the Icelandic Developmental Inventory, which evaluates children's motor and verbal development, was filled in by mothers near the children's sixth birthday.

Results: Children, iron-deficient at 1 year (n = 10), had lower fine motor development scores at 6 years than non–iron-deficient (n = 56) (46.7 ± 4.1 vs. 49.3 ± 2.0; p = 0.011). Fine motor scores were also lower in children with depleted iron stores at 1 year (n = 26) than non–iron-depleted children (n = 40) (48.0 ± 3.3 vs. 49.5 ± 1.8; p = 0.045). Multiple regression analyses, with iron status indices at 6 years, showed that mean corpuscular volume along with male gender predicted significantly positively for expression (adj. R2= 0.15; p = 0.018; n = 73), while regression analyses, including iron status at 1 and 6 years, showed that haemoglobin at 6 years was positively associated with gross motor (adj. R2= 0.05; p = 0.038; n = 63).

Conclusions: In an affluent society, iron deficiency and depleted iron stores at 1 year may contribute to worse fine motor developmental scores at 6 years, while low mean corpuscular volume and haemoglobin at 6 years might affect subsequent expression and gross motor scores negatively.

Sponsorship: The Icelandic Research Council.