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Doctors say iron deficiency ‘dangerous’ during pregnancy

June 19, 2009 by  

Doctors say iron deficiency 'dangerous' during pregnancy Iron plays a key role in brain development, and its deficiency has been linked to hearing complications in prematurely born babies, a new study has found.

Scientist from the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) analyzed 80 infants over a period of18 months, testing their cord blood for iron levels and measuring the maturity of the brain’s auditory nervous system after birth.

They found the brains of infants with low iron levels in their cord blood had abnormal maturation of the auditory system.

"Sound isn’t transmitted as well through the immature auditory pathway in the brains of premature babies who are deficient in iron as compared to premature babies who have enough iron," says Dr. Sanjiv Amin, associate professor of Pediatrics at the URMC.

He adds researchers suspect that if the deficiency has a serious impact on the auditory neural system during developmental phase, other parts of the brain are also likely to be affected.

"We are [particularly] concerned [about] its potential implications for language development," Amin specifies.

Background information of the study suggests as many as 20 to 30 percent of pregnant women with lower socio-economic status may be iron deficient, a condition which may lead to anemia.

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  • Ruth Kirby

    Iron…and pregnancy.

    The body needs some iron. A fetus needs iron.
    Girls and women who menstruate need more iron
    that old women and men due to the loss of blood.

    One man was low…and his doctor prescribed iron,
    which helped…but after several years,
    the man became sick. Too much iron.
    He had to give blood every 6 weeks
    to lesson the iron in his system.

    But most men do not need as much.
    Vitamins for Men, 1/day type, will
    have less iron in the pill than
    Vitamins for Women (young).

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