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Functional Significance of Early-Life Iron Deficiency: Outcomes at 25 Years

Researchers Betsy Lozoff, Julia Smith, Niko Kaciroti, Katy M. Clark, Silvia Guevara and Elias Jimenez evaluated adulthood function following chronic iron deficiency in infancy in Costa Rica.Outcomes included education, employment, marital status, and physical and mental health. Reporting the findings in the Journal of Pediatrics , the researchers found that after adjusting for sex and socioeconomic status, a higher proportion of the group with chronic iron deficiency did not complete secondary school, were not pursuing further education/training and were single. They reported poorer emotional health and more negative emotions and feelings of dissociation/detachment. Results indicate substantial loss of human potential related to early life iron deficiency.