Anemia Childhood anemia is the world’s most extensive nutrition and public health problem affecting both developed and developing countries; 40% of infants under three years of age suffer from this disease in Peru.
When hemoglobin is below 11/gr/dl in children aged six months to 6 years and below 12 gr/dl in six to 14 years.
Different nutrients can cause anemia. For example, protein, folic acid, vitamin B12 iron but 60% of the cause of childhood anemia is iron (3), and weakness has on brain development, especially in the first 6 to 36 months of life.
To learn more about the consequences of anemia on brain development, we invite you to continue reading here “The role that iron plays in brain development.”
Iron influences different metabolic processes of the central nervous system and the synthesis of neurotransmitters, especially in a neurotransmitter responsible for regulating serotonin, dopamine, and noradrenaline, thus helping to control stress.
The consumption of iron becomes necessary from before birth to adolescence to prevent.
Anemia and prevent the deficiency of this mineral from causing harmful effects on psychomotor and cognitive functions.
It creates that some iron deficiency problems will not only manifest themselves.
In short time but will also be long term, being:
- Decreased attention span and intelligence.
- Reduction of sensory perception functions.
- Decreased functions associated with emotions and behavior.
- Iron deficiency and alteration of neurotransmitters
The deficiency of this mineral can cause alterations in neurotransmitters; these are manifest through different central nervous system disorders. For example, a study revealed that children with iron deficiency were 3.82 more likely to suffer from ADHD than attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
Another problem that arises is that these patients with iron deficiency usually present lower scores in language and the perception of environmental sound and motor measures than children.
Who Has Not Presented Iron Deficiency Anemia?
Anemia in children under three is a public health problem in Peru and worldwide. The leading cause of anemia, but not the only one, is iron deficiency. Many studies and reviews show how this impairment in infants negatively impacts psychomotor development. Despite the anemia being correct, children with this history show inferior performance in the long run. in cognitive, social, and emotional domains. These results describe observational and follow-up studies and experimental studies with a control group. Anemia can reduce academic performance and productivity in adulthood, affecting the quality of life and the economy of those involved. Some possible mechanisms of iron deficiency, with or without anemia, might affect a child’s development high prevalence of anemia observed in this age group is worrying. Anticipation of anemia in the first year of life should be the goal to avoid long-term developmental consequences.
Is Iron Therapy Beneficial?
Since iron deficiency has harmful effects on children’s cognitive development, the question arises: is iron therapy beneficial? Does this improve cognitive outcomes?
There are state plans that include iron food supplementation for children from vulnerable populations. According to some indicators, this is beneficial for them, regardless of whether they suffer from anemia or not.
From the results of the research, it has been possible to notice that low doses of iron
It positively affects infants between the first 6 and 23 months of life; however, some recommend it from 4 months, when there is already a lower percentage of iron in breast milk.
To prevent babies from being born with an iron deficiency requires an early diet.
Supplementation with this micronutrient should be based on a good diet from gestation and prolonged with interventions throughout life.
Considering that approximately 600,000 births are reported in Peru (29), 404,938 children suffer from anemia in the first year of life, which would risk not reaching their childhood development potential due to this disease. Therefore, promote adequate nutrition in children and pregnant women, and improve health care to reduce the burden of childhood illnesses and thus help prevent anemia in the first year of life.