Relationships between iron status and measures of attention & memory / by Louie Valente.
Valente, Louie Cyril
SubjectMemory in adolescence Health aspects
Iron deficiency anemia in adolescents
Attention in adolescence Health aspects
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Iron plays a role in cognition. Iron deficiency can lead to abnormal dopaminergic neurotransmission and deficits in attention and memory. The objective of the present study was to assess the relationship between iron status, attention and memory in 71 healthy 10th grade female adolescents (mean ± SD, 15.4 ± .56 years). Participants were selected from public high schools in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada. Main outcome measures were: serum ferritin, hemoglobin (measuring iron status) and Trail Making (parts A & B), Digit Span (forward, backward, total), and Motor Free Visual Perception Test-3 (measuring cognition). Vitamin B12, and albumin were assayed primarily for control purposes. Using serum ferritin ≤ 20 µg/L as a cutoff value, 58% of participants (n = 42) were iron deficient. One case o f anemia (Hb < 120 g/L) and two cases of B12 deficiency (≤ 150 pmol/L) were observed. Low albumin (<35 g/L) was not observed. Statistical analyses included: bivariate Pearson and partial correlation, multivariate regression, between subjects t-test, and relative risk. There were no statistically significant relationships noted between serum ferritin, hemoglobin, vitamin B12, or albumin and any test of attention or memory. Results suggest that serum ferritin ≤ 20 µg/L is not a threat to attention and memory. R ep