Maternal Anaemia is a Risk Factor for Anaemia in Infants at 14-16 Weeks-Need for Early Initiation of Iron Supplementation SC01-SC03
Dr. Rajesh Balan,
Plot No: 23, Brindavan Nagar Extension, 3rd Street, Adambakkam, Chennai-600088, Tamil Nadu, India.
Introduction: Exclusive Breast Feeding (EBF) is recommended uniformly for all infants till six months. It is believed that since bioavailability of iron in breastmilk is high this along with the fetal iron stores will be adequate till six months. Current recommendation for iron supplementation in term infants is only from six months. However, maternal iron deficiency may reduce fetal iron stores and the infant may develop deficiency earlier.
Aim: To study the prevalence of anaemia in term appropriate for gestation age exclusively breastfed infants at 14-16 weeks of age and its relationship to mothers’ haemoglobin at delivery.
Materials and Methods: This observational study was done from March 2017 to July 2018. We recruited 350 Term Appropriate for Gestational Age (TAGA) infants on EBF aged 14-16 weeks. Chi-square test was used to test the association between the categorical variables. A binary logistic regression was used to calculate the odds ratio and 95% confidence interval.
Results: Among the 350 infants studied 129 (36.8%) had anaemia. In the anaemia group, 34 (26.4%) out of 129 infants were significantly underweight compared to 36 (16.3%) out of 221 non-anaemic infants. There were significantly more anaemic children among the lower Socio-economic class with 10/17 (58.8%). Among the 350 mothers, 137 (39%) had anaemia at the time of delivery. The prevalence of anaemia in the infants born to anaemic mothers was 64% and among non-anaemic mothers it was 19%. There was a moderate positive correlation (0.52) between maternal Haemoglobin (Hb) at delivery and anaemia in infants at 14-16 weeks.
Conclusion: The prevalence of anaemia in the infants born to anaemic mothers was significantly higher than non-anaemic mothers. Maternal anaemia should be taken as a risk factor for anaemia in EBF infants and these children should be routinely started on iron supplements in early infancy.