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Revista Brasileira de Epidemiologia
Print version ISSN 1415-790X
ROCHA, Daniela da Silva et al. Prevalence and risk factors of anemia in children attending daycare centers in Belo Horizonte - MG. Rev. bras. epidemiol. [online]. 2012, vol.15, n.3, pp.675-684. ISSN 1415-790X. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1415-790X2012000300020.
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the prevalence and risk factors of anemia in children attending daycare centers in the city of Belo Horizonte. METHODS: Cross-sectional study that evaluated 312 children aged 7 to 59 months attending daycare centers of the East Sanitary District of Belo Horizonte. The diagnosis of anemia was determined by finger stick blood samples, using the HemocueTM portable photometer, considering hemoglobin levels below 11.0 g/dL. Weight and height were measured and nutritional status of children was classified according to WHO 2006 criteria. Variables were collected through a questionnaire answered by children´s parents or guardians, containing socioeconomic aspects, in addition to information on maternal and children's health. Multiple logistic regression was performed to assess the association between variables and anemia, with control for confounding variables. RESULTS: The prevalence of anemia in the population studied was 30.8%, with a higher prevalence in children ≤ 24 months of age (71.1%). Risk factors for anemia were age ≤ 24 months (OR: 9.08 CI: 3.96 to 20.83), and height-for-age < −1 z-score (OR: 2.1, CI: 1.20 to 3.62). CONCLUSIONS: The high prevalence of anemia in children attending day care centers in Belo Horizonte, especially those younger than 24 months and in children with height-for-age < − 1 z-score, demonstrates the importance of nutritional care to infants and strengthens the need for commitment of child care institutions in reducing this deficiency.
Keywords : Anemia; Risk factors; Daycare centers; Preschool; Epidemiology; Children's health.