Reducing iron deficiency anemia in Bolivian school children: Calcium and iron combined versus iron supplementation alone.

Nutrition (Burbank, Los Angeles County, Calif.)

PubMedID: 24984991

Miranda M, Olivares M, Brito A, Pizarro F. Reducing iron deficiency anemia in Bolivian school children: Calcium and iron combined versus iron supplementation alone. Nutrition. 2014;30(7-8):771-5.
OBJECTIVE
The aim of this study was to determine the effect of combined calcium and iron versus single iron supplementation on iron status in Bolivian schoolchildren.

METHODS
Children ages 6 to 10 y old (N = 195), were randomly assigned to receive either 700 mg Ca (as calcium carbonate) plus 30 mg Fe (as ferrous sulfate) (Ca + Fe group) or 30 mg Fe (as ferrous sulfate) (Fe group). The doses were administered daily, from Monday to Friday, between meals at school over 3 mo. Iron status was assessed at baseline and after intervention. Additionally, overall nutritional status was assessed by anthropometry and an estimation of dietary intake.

RESULTS
At baseline, the prevalence of anemia in the Ca + Fe group and the Fe group were 15% and 21.5%, respectively. After 3 mo follow-up, the prevalence of iron deficiency anemia dropped significantly (P < 0.001) to 3% in both groups (?(2) = NS). Iron dietary intake was within recommended levels, but calcium intake only covered 39% of the Recommended Daily Intake.

CONCLUSION
Combined calcium and iron supplementation is equally as effective as single iron supplementation in reducing the prevalence of iron deficiency anemia in Bolivian school children.