Objectives Study the profile of behavior and intelligence of children with anemia and their possible association to the hematological parameters.
Methods Fifty-eight children (42 anemic; 16 controls), matched by age, sex, and culture with the patients, were subjected to both behavioral and IQ testing using Revised Behavior Problem Checklist (RBPCL) and Wechsler intelligence scale for children-revised and hematological laboratory evaluation
Results After controlling for age, sex and culture, the mean IQ was lower in the iron deficiency group than both thalassemic and control groups (P<.000). The mean scores of conduct disorder, socialized aggression, and anxiety withdrawal of RBPCL were higher in thalassemic group while the mean scores of motor excess and attention problems score were higher in the iron deficiency group. Regression analysis showed that hemoglobin concentration in gram/dl was the predictor of IQ in both anemic group and for attention problems in iron deficiency group while the mean corpuscular volume was the predictor of motor excess score in iron deficiency group. Other associations were not statistically significant.
Conclusion Behavior problems and low intelligence were significantly high among anemic children. Their association with the hematological parameters varies according to the type of behavior and the type of anemia. These results cannot exclude the role of other factors in shaping the profile of behavior and IQ.
(Received October 08 2009)
(Accepted April 05 2010)
(Online publication December 01 2010)
Dr. Mubarak and Dr. Fadel are professors of neuropsychiatry in the Department of Neuropsychiatry
Dr. Said is professor of pediatrics in the Department of Pediatrics, all at the College of Medicine at Tanta University in Tanta, Egypt.
Dr. Hammar is a specialist (clinical psychiatrist) in the Department of General Psychiatry at Al Ain Hospital in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates.
Faculty Disclosures: The authors report no affiliation with or financial interest in any organization that might pose a conflict of interest.