Article Type

Original Study


Objective: The aim of this study was to evaluate iron-deficiency anemia (IDA) in infancy in relation to different patterns of feeding (exclusive breast milk, exclusive cow's milk, and milk fortified with iron). Background: Iron is a component of several metalloproteins and plays a crucial role in vital biochemical activities, such as oxygen sensing and transport, electron transfer, and catalysis. The biological functions of iron are based on its chemical properties. Decreased hemoglobin level and decreased serum ferritin level aid the identification of IDA in infants. Patients and methods: This study included 147 infants with different patterns of feeding (exclusive breast fed, exclusive cow's milk fed, and iron-fortified formula). The studied groups were subjected to a full detailed assessment of history, thorough clinical examination, anthropometric measurements, complete blood count, and determination of serum iron, serum ferritin, and total iron-binding capacity. Results: In our study, the results showed that 84 (57.1%) infants of the total group studied (147 infants) were found to have IDA. According to sex, IDA among girls was 51.2%, which is higher than that found among boys (48.8%). IDA was much higher in cow's milk-fed infants 24 (96%) than exclusively breast milk-fed infants 47 (66.2%), and less in infants receiving mixed feeding with a fortified formula, 13 (25.5%), respectively. Conclusion: Our study found that infants aged 6–24 months represent one of the highest risk groups to develop IDA (57.1%) of the total study. The risk factors for IDA include consumption of cow's milk during the first year, delaying the introduction of solid foods, and lack of fortification of food with iron after 6 months of age.