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Iron deficiency during pregnancy increases risk of breathing problems in children

Category: General Health

Pregnant women should consider iron blood testing as part of their regular pre-birth health tests. A new study published in the Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology found that women who have low levels of the mineral during pregnancy risk giving birth to children with breathing problems.

After tracking nearly 600 families from pregnancy through birth and early childhood, researchers from the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology found that 22 percent of children born to mothers with iron deficiency or anemia had persistent wheezing. Furthermore, 17 percent had developed asthma by the time they reached age 6.

The study also found that anemia among women who had asthma themselves during pregnancy had an even strong impact on their child's breathing. The researchers said that the findings underscore the importance of maintaining proper nutrition during pregnancy.

"Nutrition in pregnancy is an area of great interest," said Lisbet Lundsberg, who co-led the study. "The results of this study highlight the need to further evaluate maternal nutritional status and the possible effects on the respiratory health of children."

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