Effect of iron supplementation during pregnancy on the behaviour of children at early school age: Long-term follow-up of a randomised controlled trial

Annie G. Parsons, Shao J. Zhou, Nicola J. Spurrier, Maria Makrides

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

25 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Although routine Fe supplementation in pregnancy is a common practice, its clinical benefits or risks are uncertain. Children born to mothers in the Fe group in a trial of Fe supplementation in pregnancy have been found to have a significantly higher risk of abnormal behaviour at 4 years of age than those born to mothers in the placebo group. The objective of the present study therefore was to determine whether Fe supplementation in pregnancy influences child behaviour at early school age. The study was a follow-up of children at 6 - 8 years of age after women (n 430) were randomly allocated to receive a daily Fe supplement (20 mg) or placebo from 20 weeks gestation until delivery. The supplement reduced the incidence of Fe-deficiency anaemia at delivery from 9 % to 1 %. Child behaviour and temperament were assessed using the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire and the Short Temperament Scale for Children. Of the children, 264 (61 %) participated in the follow-up. Mean behaviour and temperament scores and the proportion of parent-rated and teacher-rated abnormal total difficulties scores did not differ between the Fe and placebo groups. However, the incidence of children with an abnormal teacher-rated peer problems subscale score was higher in the Fe group (eleven of 112 subjects; 8 %) than in the placebo group (three of 113 subjects; 2 %); the relative risk was 3.70 (95 % CI 1.06, 12.91; P = 0.026). We conclude that prenatal Fe supplementation had no consistent effect on child behaviour at early school age in this study population. Further investigation regarding the long-term effects of this common practice is warranted.

LanguageEnglish
Pages1133-1139
Number of pages7
JournalBritish Journal of Nutrition
Volume99
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 7 Oct 2008

Keywords

  • Child behaviour
  • Industrialised countries
  • Iron supplementation
  • Pregnancy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

Cite this

@article{310a3c7ac4184e218972eebca66eb469,
title = "Effect of iron supplementation during pregnancy on the behaviour of children at early school age: Long-term follow-up of a randomised controlled trial",
abstract = "Although routine Fe supplementation in pregnancy is a common practice, its clinical benefits or risks are uncertain. Children born to mothers in the Fe group in a trial of Fe supplementation in pregnancy have been found to have a significantly higher risk of abnormal behaviour at 4 years of age than those born to mothers in the placebo group. The objective of the present study therefore was to determine whether Fe supplementation in pregnancy influences child behaviour at early school age. The study was a follow-up of children at 6 - 8 years of age after women (n 430) were randomly allocated to receive a daily Fe supplement (20 mg) or placebo from 20 weeks gestation until delivery. The supplement reduced the incidence of Fe-deficiency anaemia at delivery from 9 {\%} to 1 {\%}. Child behaviour and temperament were assessed using the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire and the Short Temperament Scale for Children. Of the children, 264 (61 {\%}) participated in the follow-up. Mean behaviour and temperament scores and the proportion of parent-rated and teacher-rated abnormal total difficulties scores did not differ between the Fe and placebo groups. However, the incidence of children with an abnormal teacher-rated peer problems subscale score was higher in the Fe group (eleven of 112 subjects; 8 {\%}) than in the placebo group (three of 113 subjects; 2 {\%}); the relative risk was 3.70 (95 {\%} CI 1.06, 12.91; P = 0.026). We conclude that prenatal Fe supplementation had no consistent effect on child behaviour at early school age in this study population. Further investigation regarding the long-term effects of this common practice is warranted.",
keywords = "Child behaviour, Industrialised countries, Iron supplementation, Pregnancy",
author = "Parsons, {Annie G.} and Zhou, {Shao J.} and Spurrier, {Nicola J.} and Maria Makrides",
year = "2008",
month = "10",
day = "7",
doi = "10.1017/S0007114507853359",
language = "English",
volume = "99",
pages = "1133--1139",
journal = "British Journal of Nutrition",
issn = "0007-1145",
publisher = "Cambridge University Press",
number = "5",

}

Effect of iron supplementation during pregnancy on the behaviour of children at early school age : Long-term follow-up of a randomised controlled trial. / Parsons, Annie G.; Zhou, Shao J.; Spurrier, Nicola J.; Makrides, Maria.

In: British Journal of Nutrition, Vol. 99, No. 5, 07.10.2008, p. 1133-1139.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Effect of iron supplementation during pregnancy on the behaviour of children at early school age

T2 - British Journal of Nutrition

AU - Parsons, Annie G.

AU - Zhou, Shao J.

AU - Spurrier, Nicola J.

AU - Makrides, Maria

PY - 2008/10/7

Y1 - 2008/10/7

N2 - Although routine Fe supplementation in pregnancy is a common practice, its clinical benefits or risks are uncertain. Children born to mothers in the Fe group in a trial of Fe supplementation in pregnancy have been found to have a significantly higher risk of abnormal behaviour at 4 years of age than those born to mothers in the placebo group. The objective of the present study therefore was to determine whether Fe supplementation in pregnancy influences child behaviour at early school age. The study was a follow-up of children at 6 - 8 years of age after women (n 430) were randomly allocated to receive a daily Fe supplement (20 mg) or placebo from 20 weeks gestation until delivery. The supplement reduced the incidence of Fe-deficiency anaemia at delivery from 9 % to 1 %. Child behaviour and temperament were assessed using the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire and the Short Temperament Scale for Children. Of the children, 264 (61 %) participated in the follow-up. Mean behaviour and temperament scores and the proportion of parent-rated and teacher-rated abnormal total difficulties scores did not differ between the Fe and placebo groups. However, the incidence of children with an abnormal teacher-rated peer problems subscale score was higher in the Fe group (eleven of 112 subjects; 8 %) than in the placebo group (three of 113 subjects; 2 %); the relative risk was 3.70 (95 % CI 1.06, 12.91; P = 0.026). We conclude that prenatal Fe supplementation had no consistent effect on child behaviour at early school age in this study population. Further investigation regarding the long-term effects of this common practice is warranted.

AB - Although routine Fe supplementation in pregnancy is a common practice, its clinical benefits or risks are uncertain. Children born to mothers in the Fe group in a trial of Fe supplementation in pregnancy have been found to have a significantly higher risk of abnormal behaviour at 4 years of age than those born to mothers in the placebo group. The objective of the present study therefore was to determine whether Fe supplementation in pregnancy influences child behaviour at early school age. The study was a follow-up of children at 6 - 8 years of age after women (n 430) were randomly allocated to receive a daily Fe supplement (20 mg) or placebo from 20 weeks gestation until delivery. The supplement reduced the incidence of Fe-deficiency anaemia at delivery from 9 % to 1 %. Child behaviour and temperament were assessed using the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire and the Short Temperament Scale for Children. Of the children, 264 (61 %) participated in the follow-up. Mean behaviour and temperament scores and the proportion of parent-rated and teacher-rated abnormal total difficulties scores did not differ between the Fe and placebo groups. However, the incidence of children with an abnormal teacher-rated peer problems subscale score was higher in the Fe group (eleven of 112 subjects; 8 %) than in the placebo group (three of 113 subjects; 2 %); the relative risk was 3.70 (95 % CI 1.06, 12.91; P = 0.026). We conclude that prenatal Fe supplementation had no consistent effect on child behaviour at early school age in this study population. Further investigation regarding the long-term effects of this common practice is warranted.

KW - Child behaviour

KW - Industrialised countries

KW - Iron supplementation

KW - Pregnancy

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=53049099891&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1017/S0007114507853359

DO - 10.1017/S0007114507853359

M3 - Article

VL - 99

SP - 1133

EP - 1139

JO - British Journal of Nutrition

JF - British Journal of Nutrition

SN - 0007-1145

IS - 5

ER -