THE INCIDENCE of deficiency disease in infants has decreased concurrently with increase and dissemination of nutritional knowledge. However, hypochromic anemia continues to occur commonly in the latter half of the first year of life. It is desirable, therefore, to prevent rather than treat hypochromic anemia. This study was undertaken to determine the amount and form of iron needed for this purpose.
Since the studies of Elvehjem and co-workers,1 Stearns and co-workers,2 Heath and Patek,3 and McClean,4 iron preparations have been employed more frequently during the early months of postnatal life to prevent depletion of iron stores and to insure the availability of sufficient iron to maintain optimum hemoglobin values during infancy. Various amounts and types of iron have been advised as a daily dose. McClean4 recommends 50 to 60 mg. of iron daily as ferrous sulfate; Elvehjem, 25 mg. of iron daily as ferric pyrophosphate