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Editorial |

Zinc Protoporphyrin to Prevent Iron Deficiency

Robert D. Baker, MD, PhD
JAMA Pediatr. 2013;167(4):393-394. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2013.755.
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In this issue of JAMA Pediatrics, Magge et al1 report on zinc protoporphyrin (ZPP) used as a screening test for iron deficiency (ID) and ID anemia (IDA) in a large group of infants and toddlers. The authors touch on 2 issues that make this study important to all of us: first, the suspected involvement of ID and IDA in neurodevelopment and second, how best to screen for and treat ID and IDA. The authors point out that, while the prevalence of ID and IDA has decreased substantially, infants and toddlers remain at risk. The chances of ID and IDA have decreased; however, with the recognition that ID and IDA may have long-term neurodevelopmental consequences, the results of ID or IDA may be more damaging than previously realized.2 An accurate, simple, easy to interpret screening test for ID and IDA is needed. The authors suggest that ZPP may be that simple test.

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