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Cadernos de Saúde Pública

On-line version ISSN 1678-4464Print version ISSN 0102-311X


ASSIS, Ana Marlúcia O. et al. Distribution of anemia among preschool children from the semi-arid region of Bahia. Cad. Saúde Pública [online]. 1997, vol.13, n.2, pp.237-244. ISSN 1678-4464.

The objective of this survey was to determine the prevalence of anemia and potential determinants thereof in 754 children from urban areas of seven small towns in the semi-arid region of Bahia. Hemoglobin was measured in 745 children 1 to 72 months of age. For the 6-to-72 month-old group, hemoglobin < 11.0 g/dl was considered anemia (following WHO recommendations) whereas <9.5 g/dl was considered severe anemia. The same cutoffs were used for children under 6 months, which are the same ones used in clinical-hematology. A mean hemoglobin of 12.1 g/dl was found, distributed differently according to age groups (p=0.001). The study found prevalences of 22.2 % for anemia and 5.8% for severe anemia, respectively. Occurrence of anemia varied significantly with age (p=0.001); the highest prevalence was 50.0% in children 12 to 23 months of age, followed by 29.9% in children below 12 months. The association of anemia with mother's education (controlled for age) and per capita family income was not statistically significant.

Keywords : Anemia; Child Health; Nutrition; Epidemiology.

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