Research that found children born to mothers who took intermittent iron supplementation in pregnancy had poorer growth outcomes compared to those who took daily iron supplements in pregnancy has been recognised with the University of Melbourne’s Medical School 2018 Early Career Researcher Publication Prize.
The Doherty Institute’s post-doctoral research fellow Dr Sarah Hanieh was the lead author on the paper that was the first that looked at low-dose versus higher dose antenatal iron supplementation on longer term health outcomes in young children.
The study which was based in Vietnam also found that motor development scores were lower in children born to women who received intermittent multiple micronutrient supplementation, compared to those who received daily iron folic acid supplementation.
“At the primary health care level the results highlight the importance of adequate iron stores before and during pregnancy, and the continued efforts required to ensure pregnant women in low-income settings have access to appropriate antenatal care and understand the importance of optimal iron stores during pregnancy,” Dr Hanieh explained.
“They also reiterate the need for careful monitoring when lower-dose antenatal iron regimens are used, and a better understanding of the long-term health outcomes in children born to antenatal women with less robust iron reserves.”
Dr Hanieh said the paper, that was published in BMJ Global Health in 2017, has helped to attract funding for further research in early child growth in vulnerable populations.
“I am very grateful for the prize from the Melbourne Medical School and thank the school for their support of early career researchers. This was large collaborative effort with researchers involved from several departments including the Department of Medicine, University of Melbourne; the Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, University of Melbourne; Monash University; and the Research and Training Centre for Community Development in Hanoi, Vietnam.”
Article sourced from The Doherty Institute