Open Access Low prevalence of anemia in children aged 19 to 72 months in Chile

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Background. In 1974/75, the prevalence of anemia in Chilean preschoolers was 18.8%. Since 2000, the Chilean Ministry of Health has combated anemia through the delivery of iron-fortified milk by the National Complementary Feeding Program (NCFP).

Objective. To determine the prevalence of anemia in children aged 19 to 72 months who are beneficiaries of the NCFP.

Methods. A cross-sectional representative sample of 224 beneficiaries of the NCFP aged 19 to 72 months from the Santiago and Valparaiso regions was recruited.

Results. The mean (± SD) hemoglobin concentration was 12.3 ± 1.0 g/dL. Four percent of all children studied were anemic. In simple linear regression analysis, it was observed that hemoglobin concentration was positively correlated with age (r = 0.23, p = .001). There was no association between hemoglobin concentration and duration of breastfeeding (r = –0.12, p = .175). The prevalence of anemia among the 69% of children consuming iron-fortified milk delivered by NCFP was 2.6%, as compared with 7.1% among children not consuming iron-fortified milk (p = 0.227). Consumption of iron-fortified milk did not show a positive significant relationship with hemoglobin concentration (r = 0.063, p = .529). Similarly, multiple logistic regression did not show an association between consumption of fortified milk and anemia, after adjusting for sex, age, and breastfeeding (p = .150; OR = 0.98; 95% CI, 0.95 to 0.10).

Conclusions. In 2009 anemia was not a public health problem in Chilean children aged 19 to 72 months from Santiago and Valparaiso.


Document Type: Short Communication

Publication date: December 1, 2012

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  • 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.

    Food and Nutrition Bulletin's 2012 Impact Factor: 2.106
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