Prolonged exclusive lactation and low educational level of mothers as potential risk factors for the occurrence of iron deficiency anemia among young Algerian preschool children living in poor rural area (Djelfa)
Affiliations: [a] Laboratory of Human Nutrition and food Technology of Algiers, High National School of Agronomy of El Harrach, Street of Hassan Badi El Harrach, Algiers, Algeria
University Hospital of Hussein-Dey, Hussein-Dey, Algiers, Algeria
University Hospital of Kouba, Kouba, Algiers, Algeria
| [d] Clinical Laboratory of Larbaa, Larbaa, Blida, Algeria
Corresponding author: Arezki Bitam, PhD, Laboratory of Human Nutrition and Food Technology: High National School of Agronomy, El Harrach-Algiers, Belfort, Street of Hassan Badi, 16131, Algiers. Tel./Fax: +213 772 52 54; E-mail: email@example.com.
Abstract: BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: In Algeria, iron deficiency anemia is a major public health problem. A descriptive cross-sectional study was carried out to assess the prevalence of anemia and iron deficiency anemia and to investigate the factors associated with iron deficiency anemia. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A total of 368 clinically healthy children aged between 6 months and 5years living in a poor rural area of Algeria were assessed in this study. Biological indicators of iron status were assayed, and those of malnutrition were calculated. Socio-economic and dietary data were also collected. RESULTS: The prevalence of iron deficiency anemia was 20.92% (95%CI: 17–25%), accounting for 86.5% of anemia cases. Nutritional components appeared as a potential cause of its occurrence. Binary logistic regression demonstrated that this elevated frequency is significantly correlated with risk factors relating to infancy(<2 years) (OR = 2.68 [95CI% : 1.47–4.97]),late introduction of weaning foods (OR = 2.51 [95%CI:1.29–5.05]), exclusive lactation(OR = 3.22 [95%CI:1.37–7.6]), low educational level of mothers (OR = 3.42 [95%CI: 1.52–7.65]) and gender (boys) (OR = 2.39 [95%CI:1.39–4.39]). CONCLUSIONS: Anemia and iron deficiency anemia were significant health problems among the studied sample. The improvement of the socio-economic status of mothers and weaning practices should both be included in public health strategies for the control and prevention of iron deficiency anemia in our population.
Keywords: Iron deficiency anemia, anemia, preschool children, Algeria, rural area