Journal Article

Prevalence of Anaemia and Iron Deficiency in Urban Haïtian Children Two to Five Years of Age

Theresa A. Nicklas, Solo Kuvibidila, Lyda C. Gatewood, Ann B. Metzinger and Kwaku O. Frempong

in Journal of Tropical Pediatrics

Volume 44, issue 3, pages 133-138
Published in print June 1998 | ISSN: 0142-6338
Published online June 1998 | e-ISSN: 1465-3664 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/tropej/44.3.133
Prevalence of Anaemia and Iron Deficiency in Urban Haïtian Children Two to Five Years of Age

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This study was undertaken to assess the prevalence of anaemia and iron deficiency (ID) in 305 urban Haïtian children, 142 boys and 163 girls from low socioeconomic class, ranging in age from 2 to 5 years. Haemoglobin (Hb), serum ferritin (FERR), serum iron, total iron binding capacity (TIBC), transferrin saturation (TS), and red blood cell indices were measured by standard techniques. Although the means of these indices were within normal range, 58.4 per cent of children had at least one of the measurements in the abnormal range (FERR<12 μg/l, TS<12, HB< 10.7 g/l in 2 year old and <10.9 g/dl in 3–5 year old children). The overall prevalence of anaemia (40 per cent) was slightly higher in boys (42 per cent) than in girls (36 per cent). Approximately 45 and 31 per cent of children had FERR<12 μg/l and TS<12 per cent, respectively, with no difference between boys and girls. Despite the decrease in the prevalence of anaemia and ID with age, about one-third of the 5 year old children were either anaemic or iron deficient. Hypochromia and microcytosis were present in 60 and 66 per cent of children respectively. Although ID was the major cause of anaemia, protein-energy malnutrition as judged by low TIBC contributed to the high prevalence of anaemia. Megaloblastic anaemia and haemoglobinopathies did not significantly contribute to the high prevalence of anaemia. The frequency of fruit consumption, hence vitamin C, was lower in anaemic than non-anaemic children. We conclude that the eradication of anaemia and ID in this population will require improvement in overall nutritional status.

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Subjects: Paediatrics ; Antitrust Issues and Policies

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