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Vol. 158 No. 12, December 2004 TABLE OF CONTENTS
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Iron Deficiency in Children With Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

Eric Konofal, MD, PhD; Michel Lecendreux, MD; Isabelle Arnulf, MD, PhD; Marie-Christine Mouren, MD

Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2004;158:1113-1115.

Background  Iron deficiency causes abnormal dopaminergic neurotransmission and may contribute to the physiopathology of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Objective  To evaluate iron deficiency in children with ADHD vs iron deficiency in an age- and sex-matched control group.

Design  Controlled group comparison study.

Setting  Child and Adolescent Psychopathology Department in European Pediatric Hospital, Paris, France.

Patients  Fifty-three children with ADHD aged 4 to 14 years (mean ± SD, 9.2 ± 2.2 years) and 27 controls (mean ± SD, 9.5 ± 2.8 years).

Main Outcome Measures  Serum ferritin levels evaluating iron stores and Conners’ Parent Rating Scale scores measuring severity of ADHD symptoms have been obtained.

Results  The mean serum ferritin levels were lower in the children with ADHD (mean ± SD, 23 ± 13 ng/mL) than in the controls (mean ± SD, 44 ± 22 ng/mL; P < .001). Serum ferritin levels were abnormal (<30 ng/mL) in 84% of children with ADHD and 18% of controls (P < .001). In addition, low serum ferritin levels were correlated with more severe general ADHD symptoms measured with Conners’ Parent Rating Scale (Pearson correlation coefficient, r = –0.34; P < .02) and greater cognitive deficits (r = –0.38; P < .01).

Conclusions  These results suggest that low iron stores contribute to ADHD and that ADHD children may benefit from iron supplementation.


Author Affiliations: Service de Psychopathologie de l’Enfant et de l’Adolescent, Hôpital Robert Debré (Drs Konofal, Lecendreux, and Mouren), and Fédération des Pathologies du Sommeil Hôpital Pitié Salpêtrière, Assistance Publique, Hôpitaux de Paris (Drs Konofal and Arnulf), Paris, France.


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