Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE credits
Background: Anemia is a condition that can negatively impact the strength, productivity, and cognition of an individual. Underlying causes are often micronutrient deficiencies or infectious diseases. In South Asia, the prevalence of anemia in preschool children has been estimated to be as high as 47% and micronutrient deficiencies are common.
Aim: To determine the prevalence of anemia and its association with socio-demographic factors and micronutrient deficiencies in 4.5-year old children in Matlab, Bangladesh.
Methods: Cross-sectional study based on secondary data collected within a prenatal food and micronutrient supplementation trial. Biomarker analyses of hemoglobin, iron, folate and vitamin B12 were carried out, and the prevalence of anemia and micronutrient deficiencies was determined. Information on maternal socio-demographic characteristics was collected in a previous study within the trial. Multiple logistic regression was carried out to investigate associations.
Results: In total, 1,354 children participated in the study. The prevalence of anemia was 8% and associations were found with maternal education and season of blood testing. Children of mothers with ≥ 6 years of formal education, and the children giving blood in season 2 (mid-June – mid-October) and season 3 (mid-October – mid-February) had reduced risks of anemia by ≥ 48%. Deficiencies of iron, folate, and vitamin B12 were rare and not associated with anemia.
Conclusion A much lower prevalence of anemia than anticipated was found in children in Matlab, Bangladesh. One reason could be the long presence of The International Centre for Diarrheal Disease Research, Bangladesh, which carries out research and provides health care.
2015. , 46 p.