Document Detail

Potential impacts of iron biofortification in India.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  18291567     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Iron deficiency is a widespread nutrition and health problem in developing countries, causing impairments in physical activity and cognitive development, as well as maternal mortality. Although food fortification and supplementation programmes have been effective in some countries, their overall success remains limited. Biofortification, that is, breeding food crops for higher micronutrient content, is a relatively new approach, which has been gaining international attention recently. We propose a methodology for ex ante impact assessment of iron biofortification, building on a disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) framework. This methodology is applied in an Indian context. Using a large and representative data set of household food consumption, the likely effects of iron-rich rice and wheat varieties are simulated for different target groups and regions. These varieties, which are being developed by an international public research consortium, based on conventional breeding techniques, might be ready for local distribution within the next couple of years. The results indicate sizeable potential health benefits. Depending on the underlying assumptions, the disease burden associated with iron deficiency could be reduced by 19-58%. Due to the relatively low institutional cost to reach the target population, the expected cost-effectiveness of iron biofortification compares favourably with other micronutrient interventions. Nonetheless, biofortification should not be seen as a substitute for other interventions. Each approach has its particular strengths, so they complement one another.
Alexander J Stein; J V Meenakshi; Matin Qaim; Penelope Nestel; H P S Sachdev; Zulfiqar A Bhutta
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't     Date:  2008-02-21
Journal Detail:
Title:  Social science & medicine (1982)     Volume:  66     ISSN:  0277-9536     ISO Abbreviation:  Soc Sci Med     Publication Date:  2008 Apr 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2008-03-17     Completed Date:  2008-08-19     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8303205     Medline TA:  Soc Sci Med     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  1797-808     Citation Subset:  IM    
University of Hohenheim, Agricultural Economics and Social Sciences, Inst. 490b, 70593 Stuttgart, Germany.
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MeSH Terms
Anemia, Iron-Deficiency / complications,  epidemiology,  prevention & control*
Child, Preschool
Cost-Benefit Analysis
Crops, Agricultural / genetics
Food, Fortified*
India / epidemiology
Iron, Dietary / administration & dosage*
Models, Statistical
Oryza sativa / genetics
Plants, Genetically Modified* / genetics
Quality-Adjusted Life Years
Triticum / genetics
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Iron, Dietary

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