Role of iron in breath holding spells and effect of iron therapy in children


  • Mohmad Saleem Chesti Department of Paediatrics, Government Medical College, Baramulla, Kashmir, India
  • Shilakha Chaman Department of Paediatrics, Government Medical College, Baramulla, Kashmir, India
  • Mudasir Nazir Department of Paediatrics, Government Medical College, Baramulla, Kashmir, India



Breath holding spells, Children and iron deficiency, Anemia and serum ferritin


Background: Breath holding spells (BHS) are paroxysmal events resulting from painful stimulus or emotional event resulting in forceful crying, occur in children’s aged between 6 months to 6 years. To assess the role of iron in breath holding spells (BHS) and to assess the efficiency of iron therapy in reducing frequency of BHS.

Methods: This was a prospective, interventional study conducted at GMC baramulla. A total of 70 patients between the ages of 6 months and 5 years with breath holding spells with iron deficiency and iron deficiency anemia were studied. After giving them iron therapy for 6 and 12 weeks, they were assessed for the improvement in their anemia and its impact on the frequency of breath holding spells.

Results: Seventy children with breath holding spells were studied prospectively. Forty (57.15%) cases were males and 30 (42.85%) females. There was a statistically significant rise in the hemoglobin level, serum ferritin, serum iron with 6 and12 weeks of iron therapy (p<0.001). This rise in the hemoglobin level serum ferritin and serum iron was associated with a statistically significant fall in the frequency of breath holding spells with 6 and 12 weeks of iron therapy (p<0.001).

Conclusions: iron supplement is effective in reducing the frequency of breath holding spells and thus iron has role in BHS.

Author Biography

Mohmad Saleem Chesti, Department of Paediatrics, Government Medical College, Baramulla, Kashmir, India



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Original Research Articles