Pregnancy: iron deficiency increases risk for mental retardation

Pregnancy: iron deficiency increases risk for mental retardation

Women have in the first two-thirds of the pregnancy, too little iron in the blood, which is a risk for the unborn Baby. Researchers from Sweden have found that children are more likely to develop autism, attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or a mental disability.

During pregnancy, the iron is doubled demand. An estimated 15 to 20 percent of all women to slip into a deficiency and develop a so-called iron-deficiency anemia. The cells of the body do not receive enough oxygen and won’t work correctly. This not only affects the health of the mother-to-be: A new study by the Karolinska Institute in Sweden, the risk for neurological disorders will be increased in their offspring.

Höheres risk für autism, ADHD and intellectual disabilities

The researchers analyzed data from nearly 300,000 mothers who had her children born between 1987 and 2010. It was registered, mainly, whether and when the women had developed during the pregnancy anemia. The risk for autism was in children of women who, before 31. Pregnancy had developed in a week a anemia to 40 percent higher than in children of healthy mothers. Also, the risk that the children developed ADHD, has increased. The biggest risk – namely, a doubling – stock for intellectual disability. The authors of the study point out the importance of regular blood tests during pregnancy to detect iron deficiency early and counteract them.

The vital mineral must be absorbed through the diet and is mainly found in meat and offal, such as liver. Also vegetable foods such as cereals, legumes and green leafy vegetables contain iron that can exploit the body, but worse than iron from animal foods.


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