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Article

Low Hemoglobin Levels Are Associated with Reduced Psychomotor and Language Abilities in Young Ugandan Children

1
Maternal and Child Wellbeing (MCW) Unit, African Population and Health Research Center, Nairobi 00100, Kenya
2
Medical Research Council, Uganda Virus Research Institute and London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine Uganda Research Unit, Entebbe P.O. Box 49, Uganda
3
Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) Wellcome Trust Research Programme, KEMRI Centre for Geographic Medicine Research-Coast, Kilifi 230-80108, Kenya
4
Department of Clinical Research, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London WC1E 7HT, UK
5
Department of Public Health, School of Human and Health Sciences, Pwani University, Kilifi 195-80108, Kenya
6
Department of Psychiatry, University of Oxford, Oxford OX3 7JX, UK
7
Institute for Human Development, Aga Khan University, Nairobi 30270-00100, Kenya
8
MRC International Statistics and Epidemiology Group, Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London WC1E 7HT, UK
9
Centre for Tropical Medicine and Global Health, Nuffield Department of Medicine, University of Oxford, Oxford OX3 7FZ, UK
10
Department of Paediatrics, University of Oxford, Oxford OX3 9DU, UK
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contribute equally to this work.
Academic Editors: Mary Dawn Koenig and Lisa Tussing-Humphreys
Nutrients 2022, 14(7), 1452; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu14071452
Received: 1 March 2022 / Revised: 22 March 2022 / Accepted: 28 March 2022 / Published: 30 March 2022
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Iron and Infant Development)
Children living in Sub-Saharan Africa are vulnerable to developmental delay, particularly in the critical first five years due to various adverse exposures including disease and nutritional deficiencies. Anemia and iron deficiency (ID) are highly prevalent in pregnant mothers and young children and are implicated in abnormal brain development. However, available evidence on the association between anemia, ID and neurodevelopment in sub-Saharan Africa is limited. Using data from the Entebbe Mother and Baby Study prospective birth cohort, we examined the effect of maternal and child hemoglobin (Hb) levels and child iron status on developmental scores in 933 and 530 pre-school Ugandan children respectively. Associations between Hb levels, iron status and developmental scores were assessed using regression analyses adjusting for potential confounders. Lower maternal and child Hb levels were associated with reduced psychomotor scores at 15 months, while only lower Hb levels in infancy were associated with reduced language scores. We found no evidence that anemia or ID was associated with cognitive or motor scores at five years. This study emphasizes the importance of managing anemia in pregnancy and infancy and highlights the need for further studies on the effects of anemia and ID in children living in Sub-Saharan Africa. View Full-Text
Keywords: anemia; iron; motor; cognitive; language; maternal; child; development; Africa anemia; iron; motor; cognitive; language; maternal; child; development; Africa
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MDPI and ACS Style

Nampijja, M.; Mutua, A.M.; Elliott, A.M.; Muriuki, J.M.; Abubakar, A.; Webb, E.L.; Atkinson, S.H. Low Hemoglobin Levels Are Associated with Reduced Psychomotor and Language Abilities in Young Ugandan Children. Nutrients 2022, 14, 1452. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu14071452

AMA Style

Nampijja M, Mutua AM, Elliott AM, Muriuki JM, Abubakar A, Webb EL, Atkinson SH. Low Hemoglobin Levels Are Associated with Reduced Psychomotor and Language Abilities in Young Ugandan Children. Nutrients. 2022; 14(7):1452. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu14071452

Chicago/Turabian Style

Nampijja, Margaret, Agnes M. Mutua, Alison M. Elliott, John M. Muriuki, Amina Abubakar, Emily L. Webb, and Sarah H. Atkinson. 2022. "Low Hemoglobin Levels Are Associated with Reduced Psychomotor and Language Abilities in Young Ugandan Children" Nutrients 14, no. 7: 1452. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu14071452

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