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Double-fortified salt (DFS) containing iron and iodine has been proposed as a feasible and cost-effective alternative for iron fortification in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis from randomized and quasi-randomized controlled trials to 1) assess the effect of DFS on biomarkers of iron status and the risk of anemia and iron deficiency anemia (IDA) and 2) evaluate differential effects of DFS by study type (efficacy or effectiveness), population subgroups, iron formulation (ferrous sulfate, ferrous fumarate, and ferric pyrophosphate), iron concentration, duration of intervention, and study quality. A systematic search with the use of MEDLINE, EMBASE, Cochrane, Web of Science, and other sources identified 221 articles. Twelve efficacy and 2 effectiveness studies met prespecified inclusion criteria. All studies were conducted in LMICs: 10 in India, 2 in Morocco, and 1 each in Côte d'Ivoire and Ghana. In efficacy studies, DFS increased hemoglobin concentrations [standardized mean difference (SMD): 0.28; 95%
0.11, 0.44; P < 0.001] and reduced the risk of anemia (
0.46, 0.77; P < 0.001) and IDA (RR 0.37; 95%
0.25, 0.54; P < 0.001). In effectiveness studies, the effect size for hemoglobin was smaller but significant (
0.01, 0.05; P < 0.01). Stratified analyses of efficacy studies by population subgroups indicated positive effects of DFS among women and school-age children. For the latter, DFS increased hemoglobin concentrations (
0.03, 0.60; P < 0.05) and reduced the risk of anemia (
0.34, 0.67; P < 0.001) and IDA (
0.25, 0.54; P < 0.001). Hemoglobin concentrations, anemia prevalence and deworming at baseline, sample size, and study duration were not associated with effect sizes. The results indicate that DFS is efficacious in increasing hemoglobin concentrations and reducing the risk of anemia and IDA in LMIC populations. More effectiveness studies are needed.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Advances in nutrition (Bethesda, Md.)
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Any food that has been supplemented with essential nutrients either in quantities that are greater than those present normally, or which are not present in the fortified food. The supplementation of cereals with iron and vitamins is an example of fortified food. Fortified food includes also enriched food to which various nutrients have been added to compensate for those essential nutrients removed by refinement or processing. (From Segen, Dictionary of Modern Medicine, 1992)
Iron or iron compounds used in foods or as food. Dietary iron is important in oxygen transport and the synthesis of the iron-porphyrin proteins hemoglobin, myoglobin, cytochromes, and cytochrome oxidase. Insufficient amounts of dietary iron can lead to iron-deficiency anemia.
Anemia characterized by a decrease in the ratio of the weight of hemoglobin to the volume of the erythrocyte, i.e., the mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration is less than normal. The individual cells contain less hemoglobin than they could have under optimal conditions. Hypochromic anemia may be caused by iron deficiency from a low iron intake, diminished iron absorption, or excessive iron loss. It can also be caused by infections or other diseases, therapeutic drugs, lead poisoning, and other conditions. (Stedman, 25th ed; from Miale, Laboratory Medicine: Hematology, 6th ed, p393)
Anemia characterized by decreased or absent iron stores, low serum iron concentration, low transferrin saturation, and low hemoglobin concentration or hematocrit value. The erythrocytes are hypochromic and microcytic and the iron binding capacity is increased.
An adult hemoglobin component normally present in hemolysates from human erythrocytes in concentrations of about 3%. The hemoglobin is composed of two alpha chains and two delta chains. The percentage of HbA2 varies in some hematologic disorders, but is about double in beta-thalassemia.
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