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Gazzetta Medica Italiana Archivio per le Scienze Mediche 2018 September;177(9):475-81

DOI: 10.23736/S0393-3660.17.03473-8

Copyright © 2017 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Relatively low prevalence of anemia and iron deficiency in children aged 6 to 24 months: determinants in Southern Brazil

Josiane P. PACHECO 1, Patrícia MOLZ 1, 2, Liziane HERMES 1, Lúcia M. SILLA 3, Daniel PRÁ 1, Silvia I. FRANKE 1

1 Department of Physical Education and Health, University of Santa Cruz do Sul, Santa Cruz do Sul, Brazil; 2 Faculty of Medicine, Pontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, Brazil; 3 Hematology and Bone Marrow Transplantation, Clinicas Hospital of Porto Alegre, HCPA, Porto Alegre, Brazil


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BACKGROUND: Anemia is a serious public health problem and its prevalence is higher than 40% in Brazilian preschool children. The aim of this study was to quantify the prevalence of anemia, iron deficiency and coverage of iron supplementation and evaluate the relation of these markers with socioeconomic and nutritional parameters in preschool.
METHODS: This was a cross-sectional population-based study. Standard hematological evaluations were used as cutoffs of 11.0 g/dL for hemoglobin and of 12.0 ng/mL for ferritin. A questionnaire was used to evaluate socioeconomic status. A dietary evaluation was accomplished to quantify iron bioavailability.
RESULTS: The prevalence of iron deficiency and anemia were of 22.5% and 15.5%, respectively. Iron supplementation covered only 23.0% of the individuals. There was a negative correlation between the number of siblings and hemoglobin (r=-0.214, P=0.047). Moreover, the prevalence of anemia was higher in the lower socioeconomic classes (P<0.05). The diet had high iron bioavailability.
CONCLUSIONS: The prevalence of anemia was much lower than studies conducted in Brazil, but mild according to WHO criterion. The coverage of iron supplementation was also low according to WHO criterion. Iron intake was adequate and the diet presented high iron bioavailability. Iron supplementation in kindergartens, low number of siblings and the high socioeconomic status of the population are likely causes to explain the low prevalence of anemia in this population.


KEY WORDS: Anemia, iron-deficiency - Dietary supplements - Social class

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