Effect of Iron Deficiency Anemia on Intellectual Performance of Primary School Children in Islamabad, Pakistan
Purpose: To assess the differences, if any, in the intellectual performance scores of children who have iron deficiency anemia and those who are neither anemic nor iron-deficient in New Kashmir Model School, Islamabad, Pakistan.
Methods: A total of 108 primary New Kashmir Model School children of Islamabad, Pakistan between the ages of 7 to 9 years were included in the study. They were divided into two groups based on Iron deficiency anemia and Non-anemia children’s. A brief clinical history and physical examination was performed. All the 5 mandatory subjects of WISC-R were administered to the children of both groups. Electronic cell counter was used for the evaluation of hemoglobin, packed cell volume (PVC), mean cell volume (MCV), Mean cell hemoglobin (MCH) while serum parameters were determined after first separating serum from blood. Giemsa stain was used to evaluate red cell morphology.
Results: Seventy six of these children had iron deficiency anemia based on their hemoglobin, packed cell volume, serum iron, total iron binding capacity and serum ferritin levels. The remaining 32 children were neither anemic nor iron-deficient based on their profiles. Intellectual performance scores which comprised of central nervous system (CNS) impact, as well as hemoglobin, packed cell volume, serum iron, total iron binding capacity and serum ferritin levels and also clinical parameters for the iron deficiency anemia group, were significantly lower than those of the non-anemia group.
Conclusion: Iron deficiency anemia appears to be associated with lower intellectual performance scores in school children. These results support previous findings that iron depletion leads to psychological and developmental effects in children.
Keywords: Intellectual performance, Anemia, Children, Psychological and developmental effects
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