Iron supplementation does not increase susceptibility to malaria

Last Updated: Monday, September 9, 2013 - 15:33

Washington: Kids in a malaria-endemic community in Ghana, who received a micronutrient powder with iron did not have an increased incidence of malaria, a study has claimed.

Previous research has suggested that iron supplementation for children with iron deficiency in malaria-endemic areas may increase the risk of malaria.

Stanley Zlotkin, M.D., Ph.D., of the Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, and colleagues conducted a study to determine the effect of providing micronutrient powder (MNP) with or without iron on the incidence of malaria among children living in a high malaria-burden area.

The randomized trial, which included children 6 to 35 months of age (n = 1,958 living in 1,552 clusters), was conducted over 6 months in 2010 in a rural community setting in central Ghana, West Africa.

A cluster was defined as a compound including 1 or more households. Children were excluded if iron supplement use occurred within the past 6 months, they had severe anemia, or severe wasting.

Children were randomized by cluster to receive a MNP with or without iron for 5 months followed by 1-month of further monitoring. Insecticide-treated bed nets were provided at enrollment, as well as malaria treatment when indicated.

Throughout the intervention period, adherence to the use of MNP and insecticide-treated bed nets were similar between the iron group and the no iron group.

The study has been published in JAMA.


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First Published: Monday, September 9, 2013 - 14:39

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