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Systematic review and meta-analysis
Conclusions about the benefits and risks associated with iron supplementation for anaemia prevention and control for preschoolers are limited by poor study quality
  1. Maureen M Black
  1. Department of Pediatrics, School of Medicine, University of Maryland, Baltimore, Maryland, USA
  1. Correspondence to: Dr Maureen M Black, Department of Pediatrics, School of Medicine, University of Maryland, 737 W. Lombard Street Suite 161, Baltimore, MD 21201, USA; mblack{at}

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Anaemia is a major public health problem among young children in low-income and middle-income countries. During infancy, rapid growth and high nutritional demands increase the risk for iron deficiency, which can lead to iron deficiency anaemia (IDA).1 Anaemia has been associated with poor performance on standardised assessments of children's cognitive language, motor, social and emotional development that have extended into school age and adolescence.2 Iron supplementation trials have been conducted in multiple sites and the WHO has recommended iron supplementation for children in areas with high rates of iron deficiency. However, iron supplementation trials have resulted in inconsistent reports regarding the benefits and health consequences among young children, raising concerns about the irreversibility of early iron deficiency …

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  • Competing interests None.