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SPECIAL COVERAGE: Living With Wildfires: San Diego Firestorm 10 Years Later

CA researchers discover anemia prevention for infants

At least half of the world's children under one-year-of-age suffer from anemia. Now researchers in California have discovered a simple step taken at birth could prevent the iron deficiency. KPBS reporter Beth Ford Roth has the story.

The study was conducted by nutritionists from UC Davis at a hospital in Mexico City. Researcher Camilia Chaparro says she and her colleagues found that delaying by just two minutes when a newborn's umbilical cord is clamped can boost the infant's iron reserves enough to prevent anemia.

Chaparro: There aren't that many interventions to prevent iron deficiency and anemia in this age group, so this is an easily implemented, inexpensive intervention that can be performed at the moment of birth.

The umbilical cord is clamped to stop the flow of blood between mother and child before the cord is cut. Iron deficiency can impair a child's physical and developmental growth. Beth Ford Roth, KPBS News.

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