Breath Holding and Iron

January 8, 2019 by: Pediatrics for Parents staff

The Question: Does iron supplementation in young children lessen breath-holding episodes?

The Study: One hundred children 6 to 36 months old with a history of recurrent breath holding (more than three episodes in the last four weeks) were treated with daily oral elemental iron (3mg/kg/day). The children were followed up regularly until three months after the start of treatment. 

The Results: At twelve weeks of treatment, 73% showed a complete response and another 23% showed greater than a 50% improvement. The response rate was unaffected by the presence of iron deficiency anemia. The worse the breath holding, the poorer the response to treatment.

Comment: Iron supplementation, regardless of the child’s iron status, appears to treat breath-holding spells in children.

Read More: Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health, 08/17