Navigation Links
Pica in pregnant teens linked to low iron
Date:8/20/2014

ITHACA, N.Y. In a study of 158 pregnant teenagers in Rochester, NY, nearly half engaged in pica the craving and intentional consumption of ice, cornstarch, vacuum dust, baby powder and soap, and other nonfood items, reports a new Cornell study.

Moreover, such teens had significantly lower iron levels as compared with teens who did not eat nonfood substances.

Pregnant teens, regardless of pica, are at higher risk for low hemoglobin, which can lead to iron deficiency and anemia. Low iron in pregnant teens raises the risk of premature births and babies with low birth weights, which in turn increases infant mortality rates.

"In this study, the strength of the association between pica and anemia is as big as any known causal factor of anemia in pregnant teens; this is a very strong association," said Sera Young, a research scientist in nutritional sciences in Cornell's College of Human Ecology and a co-author of the study published online in the Journal of Nutrition.

In the study, pica behaviors and iron deficiency increased over the course of the pregnancies. "As anemia increased, so did these behaviors, but we don't know what happens first," said Kimberly O'Brien, professor of nutritional sciences and the study's senior author.

The study included African-American, white and Latina pregnant teens. Of the nearly 47 percent of adolescents who reported pica behaviors, most 82 percent craved ice, followed by starches, powders, soap, paper, plastic foam such as pillow stuffing or sponges, baking soda, and a few other items.

Texture appears to be very important to those engaged in pica and is one commonality among the types of substances consumed.

When people crave ice, they consume "cups and cups and cups of it," said Young. At the same time, "ice is not going to change someone's iron status," said O'Brien, leading to her hypothesis that iron deficiency may have an effect on brain chemistry that leads to these cravings.

"The public health importance of pica really needs to be acknowledged," said Young. "My hope is that these studies put pica on the radar as a legitimate public health issue."


'/>"/>
Contact: Melissa Osgood
mmo59@cornell.edu
607-255-2059
Cornell University
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. 2 servings of salmon a week is healthy for pregnant women and their babies
2. Vitamin D for pregnant women and babies -- how much is enough?
3. Considerable prevalence of both malaria, STIs exist among pregnant women in sub-Saharan Africa
4. Overweight pregnant women not getting proper weight-gain advice
5. Few pregnant women treated for sexually transmitted infections
6. Progesterone may be why pregnant women are more vulnerable to certain infections
7. Eating junk food while pregnant may make your child a junk food addict
8. Study reveals risk factors for blood clots in pregnant and postnatal women
9. Pregnant women with high celiac disease antibodies are at risk for low birth weight babies
10. Antiepileptic drug use while pregnant impacts early child development
11. Diets of pregnant women contain harmful, hidden toxins
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/15/2016)... -- A new partnership announced today will help life ... a fraction of the time it takes today, ... insurance policies to consumers without requiring inconvenient and ... rapid testing (A1C, Cotinine and HIV) and higi,s ... pulse, BMI, and activity data) available at local ...
(Date:3/31/2016)...   LegacyXChange, Inc. ... LegacyXChange is excited to release its first ... be launched online site for trading 100% guaranteed authentic ... also provide potential shareholders a sense of the value ... industry that is notorious for fraud. The video is ...
(Date:3/22/2016)... India , March 22, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... market research report "Electronic Sensors Market for Consumer ... Proximity, & Others), Application (Communication & IT, ... Geography - Global Forecast to 2022", published ... industry is expected to reach USD 26.76 ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... 2016 A person commits a crime, and the ... track the criminal down. An outbreak of foodborne ... Administration (FDA) uses DNA evidence to track down the bacteria ... far-fetched? It,s not. The FDA has increasingly used a complex, ... foodborne illnesses. Put as simply as possible, whole genome sequencing ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016   EpiBiome , a ... $1 million in debt financing from Silicon Valley Bank ... automation and to advance its drug development efforts, as ... facility. "SVB has been an incredible strategic ... services a traditional bank would provide," said Dr. ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. , June 23, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... offering new biological discoveries to the medical community, has ... and co-founder Matthew Nunez . "We ... provide us with the capital we need to meet ... funding will essentially provide us the runway to complete ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... Velocity Products, a ... designed, tuned and optimized exclusively for Okuma CNC machining centers at The International ... a collaboration among several companies with expertise in toolholding, cutting tools, machining dynamics ...
Breaking Biology Technology: