Risk factors associated with high prevalence of anemia among children under 5 years of age in paddy-farming households in Sri Lanka
Abstract:Background. The prevalence of anemia among pre- school-aged children remains relatively high in developing countries. Determination of the risk factors associated with anemia is important to develop appropriate interventions.
Objective. To determine the prevalence of anemia among children under 5 years of age and to evaluate the risk factors associated with anemia.
Methods. The subjects were 300 children 0 to 60 months of age from 300 subsistence paddy-farming households from nine divisional secretariats across five districts of Sri Lanka (Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Hambantota, Ratnapura, and Kurunegala). The HaemoCue method was used to measure hemoglobin concentration, and anemia was defined as hemoglobin < 11 g/dl. A 24-hour dietary recall was used to determine nutrient intakes.
Results. Overall, 52% of the children were anemic and 18% were severely anemic. Hemoglobin measurements were strongly positively correlated with age (r = 0.41, p < .0001) and modestly negatively correlated with duration of exclusive breastfeeding (r = –0.18, p < .0001). Factors that were significantly associated with anemia were age, duration of exclusive breastfeeding, father's and mother's education, monthly household income, iron intake, and consumption of fruits on the previous day. In multivariate logistic regression, only duration of exclusive breastfeeding, iron intake, and father's education remained significantly associated with anemia (r2 = 0.060, p = .002). Children with a long duration of exclusive breastfeeding, less educated fathers, and low iron intake were more likely to be anemic.
Conclusions. Anemia is associated with factors reflecting poor socioeconomic and educational status and a less diverse, poor-quality diet among children in paddy-farming households.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: December 1, 2010
Established in 1978, the Food and Nutrition Bulletin (FNB) is a peer-reviewed journal published quarterly by the Nevin Scrimshaw International Nutrition Foundation.
The focus of the journal is to highlight original scientific articles on nutrition research, policy analyses, and state-of-the-art summaries relating to multidisciplinary efforts to alleviate the problems of hunger and malnutrition in the developing world.
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