Previous research has suggested that iron supplementation for children with iron deficiency in malaria-endemic areas may increase the risk of malaria.
Stanley Zlotkin, M.D., Ph.D., of the Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, and colleagues conducted a study to determine the effect of providing micronutrient powder (MNP) with or without iron on the incidence of malaria among children living in a high malaria-burden area.
The randomized trial, which included children 6 to 35 months of age (n = 1,958 living in 1,552 clusters), was conducted over 6 months in 2010 in a rural community setting in central Ghana, West Africa.
A cluster was defined as a compound including 1 or more households. Children were excluded if iron supplement use occurred within the past 6 months, they had severe anemia, or severe wasting.
Children were randomized by cluster to receive a MNP with or without iron for 5 months followed by 1-month of further monitoring. Insecticide-treated bed nets were provided at enrollment, as well as malaria treatment when indicated.
Throughout the intervention period, adherence to the use of MNP and insecticide-treated bed nets were similar between the iron group and the no iron group.
The study has been published in JAMA.
--ANI (Posted on 09-09-2013)