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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 23-27

Iron deficiency anemia among preschool children belonging to affluent families in Kerala, India

1 Department of Paediatrics, Believers Church Medical College Hospital, Tiruvalla, Kerala, India
2 Department of Pathology, Believers Church Medical College Hospital, Tiruvalla, Kerala, India
3 Department of Medical Research, Believers Church Medical College Hospital, Tiruvalla, Kerala, India

Correspondence Address:
Jijo Joseph John
Department of Pediatrics, Believers Church Medical College Hospital, St. Thomas Nagar, Kuttapuzha, Tiruvalla - 689 103, Kerala
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jcrsm.jcrsm_41_18

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Context: Anemia leads to impaired cognitive function, growth, and psychomotor development. Zeroing in on a specific socioeconomic or demographic group and a specific type of anemia, may help in better planning of resources in our battle against anemia. Aims: The aim of this study is to determine the prevalence, severity, risk factors (age, gender, and nutrition status) of iron deficiency anemia (IDA) in apparently healthy preschool children (6–59 months) belonging to affluent families. Settings and Design: A cross-sectional study conducted in a private teaching hospital. Subjects and Methods: A total of 160 children aged 6–59 months, belonging to the upper middle class, who came to the pediatric outpatient department for routine visits over a period of 1 year were evaluated. Sociodemographic data with hemoglobin, red cell indices and iron studies of blood samples were estimated. Statistical Analysis Used: Continuous data were described as mean and standard deviation. Odds ratio with 95% confidence interval was calculated using multiple logistics regression. Results: Among the 160 children evaluated, 48 (30%) were anemic, of which 41 (85.4%) had IDA. Equal proportion (P = 0.84) of boys (25.0%) and girls (26.4%) and equal proportion (P = 0.75) of well-nourished (26.2%) and moderately nourished (23.3%) had IDA. A higher proportion (P < 0.0001) of children below the age of two (40.7%) had IDA. Children below the age of 2 years were more likely to have IDA (Odds ratio [OR]: 5.8 95% confidence interval [CI] 2.5–13.8) irrespective of gender and nutrition. Conclusions: A high prevalence among apparently healthy children from affluent families is an indicator that the general population rates will be even higher. This study highlights the need to plan further intervention trials with either iron-rich or iron-fortified foods or iron supplementation, especially among children below the age of 2.

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