Use of Iron-Fortified Rice Reduces Anemia in Infants

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Nogueira Arcanjo, Francisco Placido
Santos, Paulo Roberto
Costa Arcanjo, Caio Placido
Silverio Amancio, Olga Maria [UNIFESP]
Pellegrini Braga, Josefina Aparecida [UNIFESP]
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Food fortification is advocated to tackle iron deficiency in anemic populations. Our objective was to evaluate the impact of iron-fortified rice (Ultrarice((R))) weekly on hemoglobin and anemia levels compared with standard rice (control). This cluster-randomized study deals with infants (10-23 months) from two public child day care centers in Brazil, n = 216, in an 18 week intervention. the intervention group received individual portions of fortified rice (50 g) provided 56.4 mg elemental/Fe. for intervention center: baseline mean hemoglobin was 11.44 +/- 1.07 g/dl, and after intervention 11.67 +/- 0.96 g/dl, p < 0.029; for control: baseline mean hemoglobin value was 11.35 +/- 4.01 g/dl, and after intervention 11.36 +/- 2.10 g/dl, p = 0.986. Anemia prevalence for intervention center was 31.25% at baseline, and 18.75% at end of study, p = 0.045; for control 43.50% were anemic at baseline, and 37.1% at the end of study, p = 0.22. Number Needed to Treat was 7. Iron-fortified rice was effective in increasing hemoglobin levels and reducing anemia in infants.
Journal of Tropical Pediatrics. Oxford: Oxford Univ Press, v. 58, n. 6, p. 475-480, 2012.