Food and Behaviour Research

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Food intake and serum levels of iron in children and adolescents with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder

Menegassi M, Mello ED, GuimarĂ£es LR, Matte BC, Driemeier F, Pedroso GL, Rohde LA, Schmitz M. (2010) Rev Bras Psiquiatr. 32(2): 132-8. Epub 2009 Oct 16. 

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OBJECTIVE: To investigate hematologic variables related to iron deficiency and food intake in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

METHOD: The sample comprised 62 children and adolescents (6-15 years old) divided into three groups: Group 1: 19 (30.6%) patients with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder using methylphenidate for 3 months; Group 2: 22 (35.5%) patients with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder who were methylphenidate naïve and Group 3: 21 (33.9%) patients without attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Serum iron, ferritin, transferrin, hemoglobin, mean corpuscular volume, red cell distribution width, mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration, nutritional diagnostic parameters - Body Mass Index Coefficient, food surveys were evaluated among the groups.

RESULTS: The attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder group drug naïve for methylphenidate presented the highest red cell distribution width among the three groups (p = 0.03). For all other hematologic and food survey variables, no significant differences were found among the groups. No significant correlation between dimensional measures of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder symptoms and ferritin levels was found in any of the three groups.

CONCLUSION: Peripheral markers of iron status and food intake of iron do not seem to be modified in children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, but further studies assessing brain iron levels are needed to fully understand the role of iron in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder pathophysiology.