Change search
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Sex differences in iron status during infancy.
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Clinical Sciences, Paediatrics.
Show others and affiliations
2002 (English)In: Pediatrics, ISSN 0031-4005, Vol. 110, no 3, 545-552 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

BACKGROUND: It is commonly assumed that there is no difference in iron status between male and female infants, despite a lack of studies addressing this question. OBJECTIVE: To study sex differences in different measures of iron status in infants. METHODS: At 4 months of age, 263 term, breastfed infants (121 Swedish and 142 Honduran) were randomized to receive iron supplements or placebo until 9 months of age. Blood samples at 4, 6, and 9 months of age were analyzed for hemoglobin (Hb), mean cell volume (MCV), zinc protoporphyrin (ZPP), plasma ferritin, and transferrin receptors (TfR). RESULTS: At 4, 6, and 9 months, boys had significantly lower Hb, MCV, and ferritin and higher ZPP and TfR than girls. At 9 months, boys had a 10-fold higher risk of being classified as having iron deficiency anemia. The differences at 9 months in MCV (71.6 vs 75.1 fL) and ZPP (59 vs 49 micro mol/mol heme) remained significant after controlling for iron supplementation, site, growth variables, and other possible confounders. For ferritin, there was a remaining sex difference at 9 months among Swedish (29 vs 53 micro g/L) but not Honduran infants. For Hb and TfR, sex differences at 9 months were larger in unsupplemented infants, especially in those with a birth weight of <3500 g. CONCLUSIONS: There are substantial sex differences in Hb and other indicators of iron status during infancy. Some of these may be genetically determined, whereas others seem to reflect an increased incidence of true iron deficiency in boys.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
American Academy of Pediatrics , 2002. Vol. 110, no 3, 545-552 p.
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-35000PubMedID: 12205258OAI: diva2:327482
Available from: 2010-06-29 Created: 2010-06-29 Last updated: 2015-01-22Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Iron requirements of term, breast-fed infants: a study in Sweden and Honduras
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Iron requirements of term, breast-fed infants: a study in Sweden and Honduras
2001 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå Universitet, 2001. 55 p.
Umeå University medical dissertations, ISSN 0346-6612 ; 759
National Category
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-96893 (URN)91-7305-129-2 (ISBN)
Public defence
2001-11-30, Tandläkarhögskolan Umeå, sal B, 9 tr., Umeå universitet, Umeå, 09:00

Diss. (sammanfattning) Umeå : Umeå universitet, 2001

Available from: 2015-01-22 Created: 2014-12-05 Last updated: 2015-04-08Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

No full text


Search in DiVA

By author/editor
Domellöf, MagnusHernell, Olle
By organisation
In the same journal

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar
The number of downloads is the sum of all downloads of full texts. It may include eg previous versions that are now no longer available

Altmetric score

Total: 30 hits
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link