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A Comparative Study of Red Blood Cell Indices and Anemia by Feeding Patterns

Journal of the Korean Pediatric Society 1999;42(8):1104-1110.
Published online August 15, 1999.
A Comparative Study of Red Blood Cell Indices and Anemia by Feeding Patterns
Pill-Jin Shin1, Chong-Woo Bae2, Yong-Mook Choi2
1Department of Pediatrics, Seoul Sacred Heart Hospital, Seoul, Korea
2Department of Pediatrics, College of Medicine, Kyunghee University, Seoul, Korea
건강검진을 시행한 영아에서 수유방법에 따른 빈혈의 빈도 및 적혈구 혈액상의 비교에 대한 연구
신필진1, 배종우2, 최용묵2
1서울성심병원 소아과
2경희대학교 의과대학 소아과학교실
Correspondence: 
Pill-Jin Shin, Email: 1
Abstract
Purpose
: Iron-deficiency anemia is the most common nutritional deficiency in young infants. This study was designed to determine feeding patterns in infants, and determine a correlation between feeding patterns and incidence of anemia.
Methods
: This study was conducted by taking blood tests (hemoglobin, hematocrit, and red cell indices) by venipuncture with the electronic counters from 221 infants aged 9-12 months old, who came to Well Baby Clinics in the Department of Pediatrics, Seoul Sacred Heart Hospital for a health check-up. Their mothers answered a questionnaire regarding their feeding patterns.
Results
: The 221 infants aged 9-12 months, were divided into three groups, i.e. infants who were exclusively breast-fed(group A=6.8%), those who had been given mixed feeding or breast milk for 2 months and then switched to artificial formula milk(group B=22.6%), and those who had been given artificial formula milk since birth(group C=70.6%). Of the 221 infants, 7 infants(3.2 %) were found to have iron deficiency anemia. Infants with anemia comprised 20.0%(3/15) of group A, significantly more than the 2.0(1/50) of group B and 1.9%(3/156) of group C(P<0.005).
Conclusion
: The incidence of iron-deficiency anemia was 3.2%, which was lower than previous reports, as 93.2% of the infants studied were from middle-class families. Seven infants with iron deficiency anemia were found to have been insufficiently fed with iron-rich weaning foods. Thus, studying the feeding patterns of infants is highly predictive of their risk for anemia. Therefore, regular blood tests on infants at high risk for anemia is recommended, as well as supplementary feeding of iron-fortified foods.
Key Words: Anemia, Iron-deficiency, Feeding pattern, Infant


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