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Objective: To assess the efficiency of iron therapy in reducing the frequency of breath holding spells.
Material and Methods: This was a prospective, interventional study conducted in the department of
Pediatrics, Hayatabad Medical Complex, Peshawar. A total of 50 patients between the ages of 6 months
and 5 years with breath holding spells and mild to moderate iron deficiency anemia were studied. After
giving them iron therapy for 8 weeks, they were assessed for the improvement in their anemia and its
impact on the frequency of breath holding spells.
Results: Fifty children with iron deficiency anemia and breath holding spells were studied prospectively.
Thirty-one (62%) cases were males and 19 (38%) females. The mean age was 27 months (SD ±12.6). The
mean baseline hemoglobin was 9.79gm/dl. After 4 weeks of iron therapy it was 10.54gm/dl and after 8
weeks it was 11.23gm/dl. There was a statistically significant rise in the hemoglobin level with 8 weeks of
iron therapy (p<0.001). This rise in the hemoglobin level was associated with a statistically significant fall
in the frequency of breath holding spells with 8 weeks of iron therapy (p<0.001).
Conclusion: It appears that treating iron deficiency anemia is effective in reducing the frequency of
breath holding spells.
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