Early iron status plays an important role in prenatal neurodevelopment. Iron deficiency and high iron status have been related to alterations in child cognitive development; however, there are no data about iron intake during pregnancy with other environmental factors in relation to long term cognitive functioning of children. The aim of this study is to assess the relationship between maternal iron status and iron intake during pregnancy and child neuropsychological outcomes at 7 years of age. We used data from the INMA Cohort population-based study. Iron status during pregnancy was assessed according to serum ferritin levels, and iron intake was assessed with food frequency questionnaires. Working memory, attention, and executive function were assessed in children at 7 years old with the N-Back task, Attention Network Task, and the Trail Making Test, respectively. The results show that, after controlling for potential confounders, normal maternal serum ferritin levels (from 12 mg/L to 60 mg/L) and iron intake (from 14.5 mg/day to 30.0 mg/day), respectively, were related to better scores in working memory and executive functioning in offspring. Since these functions have been associated with better academic performance and adaptation to the environment, maintaining a good state of maternal iron from the beginning of pregnancy could be a valuable strategy for the community.

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doi.org/10.3390/nu11122999, hdl.handle.net/1765/122641

Arija, V., Hernández-Martínez, C. (Carmen), Tous, M. (Mónica), Canals, J. (Josefa), Guxens Junyent, M., Fernández-Barrés, S., … Julvez, J. (2019). Association of iron status and intake during pregnancy with neuropsychological outcomes in children aged 7 years: The prospective birth cohort infancia y medio ambiente (INMA) study. Nutrients, 11(12). doi:10.3390/nu11122999