Iron status and infant feeding practices in an urban ambulatory center.Pediatrics 1983; 72(1):33-6Ped
The relationship of infant feeding practices to iron status was examined in a group of 280 infants, 9 to 12 months of age, attending a "well-baby" clinic. Of this group, 7.6% were found to be iron depleted, 19.7% were iron deficient without anemia, and 8.2% were iron deficient with anemia. The incidence of iron-deficiency anemia was significantly greater in the black infants than the white infants (14.3% v 2.7%). The introduction of whole cow's milk into the diet had occurred prior to 6 months of age in 29.2% of the infants, and 62.1% of these infants had laboratory evidence of nutritional iron inadequacy, as contrasted with only 21.8% of those with iron deficiencies fed cow's milk after 6 months of age. Of the 21 infants with iron-deficiency anemia, 19 (90.5%) had been fed whole cow's milk prior to 6 months of age. Iron deficiency remains a nutritional problem for infants in an urban setting and is largely a result of the early introduction of whole cow's milk into the diet.