Effects of iron deficiency in infancy on patterns of motor development over time

Tal Shafir, Rosa Angulo-Barroso, Agustin Calatroni, Elias Jimenez, Betsy Lozoff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This longitudinal study of the effects of iron deficiency in infancy assessed motor development over time in 185 healthy Costa Rican children who varied in iron status at 12-23 months. Longitudinal analyses (hierarchical linear modeling) used the Bayley Psychomotor Index before and both 1 week and 3 months after iron treatment in infancy and the Bruninks-Oseretsky Test of Motor Proficiency - long form at 5 years and short form at 11-14 years. Children with chronic severe iron deficiency in infancy had lower motor scores at the beginning of the study and a lower but parallel trajectory for motor scores through early adolescence. Thus, there was no evidence of catch-up in motor development, despite iron therapy in infancy that corrected iron deficiency anemia in all cases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)821-838
Number of pages18
JournalHuman Movement Science
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2006
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health (R01 HD31606 and a MERIT Award to B. Lozoff, R37 HD31606). Preliminary results were presented at the Ambulatory Pediatrics Association Presidential Plenary Session, Pediatric Academic Societies meetings, San Francisco, May 3, 2004, and at the North American Society for Psychology of Sport and Physical Activity annual meetings, Vancouver, British Columbia, June 12, 2004. We are thankful to the study participants and their families for their continued dedication to this project, and to the research team in Costa Rica.


  • Human
  • Infant
  • Iron deficiency
  • Longitudinal
  • Motor development

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology


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