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Open Access Predictors of anemia among Haitian children aged 6 to 59 months and women of childbearing age and their implications for programming

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Background. The Haitian National Nutrition Policy prioritizes prevention and treatment of anemia among mothers and young children, but there are few available data to support planning for scale-up of anemia interventions.

Objective. To describe the prevalence and predictors of anemia among Haitian women (15 to 49 years) and children (6 to 59 months) and to draw implications for national nutrition programming.

Methods. Descriptive and univariate analyses and multivariate logistic regression models were performed using data from the nationally representative Haitian Demographic Health Survey 2005/06.

Results. The prevalence of mild (hemoglobin 11.0 to 11.9 g/dL), moderate (hemoglobin 8.0 to 10.9 g/dL), and severe (hemoglobin < 8.0 g/dL) anemia was 19.2%, 21.7%, and 4.4%, respectively, among women aged 15 to 49 years and 22.9%, 33.9%. and 2.2% among children aged 6 to 59 months. Unexpectedly, anemia was more prevalent in urban women (54.4 %) and children (65.1%) than in rural women (43.1%, p < .001) and children (55.7%, p = .004). In multivariate regression models, factors associated with anemia among urban women (birth spacing, p = .027; overweight BMI, p < .001; education level, p = .022) were different from those in rural women (wealth quintile, p < .05; employment, p = .003). Anemia in urban and rural children aged 6 to 59 months increased with child age (p < .05) and maternal anemia status (p = .004; p < .001). Female sex (p = .007) and maternal overweight (p = .009) were associated with reduced risk of anemia in rural children only.

Conclusions. Anemia among Haitian young children and women of childbearing age is a severe public health problem. The findings suggest the need for context-specific rural and urban strategies, reinforcement of anemia prevention in health services reaching women of childbearing age, and targeted interventions for young children.


Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2013

More about this publication?
  • 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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