Saturday, January 19, 2008

a EIGHTEEN percent decrease in infant mortality??

A recent large, double blind trial published in the Lancet shows that multiple micronutrient supplements may decrease infant mortality by 18% over iron/folate vitamin supplements. This would be huge for public health if it turns out to be accurate.

Anuraj Shankar, M.D., of the University of Mataram in Indonesia, and colleagues from the Supplementation with Multiple
Micronutrients Intervention Trial (SUMMIT) Study Group randomly assigned 262 Indonesian midwives to distribute either iron
and folic acid supplements or multiple micronutrient supplements to 31,290 pregnant women through government prenatal care
services with instructions that the supplements be taken daily through 90 days post partum.

Compared to iron and folic acid supplementation, the researchers found that multiple micronutrient supplementation was
associated with an overall reduction of 18 percent in early infant mortality, and even higher reductions among women who were
either undernourished or anemic at baseline (25 percent and 38 percent, respectively).
"The data from our study suggest that maternal multiple micronutrient supplementation could reduce infant death and potentially
be an important complement to overall strengthening of prenatal-care programs."
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1 comment:

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