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Iron deficiency anaemia among apparently healthy pre-school children in Lagos, Nigeria

Olufemi S. Akodu, Elizabeth A. Disu, Olisamedua F. Njokanma, Omolara A. Kehinde


Background: Iron deficiency, and specifically iron deficiency anaemia, remains one of the most severe and important nutritional deficiencies in the world today.

Objective: To estimate the prevalence and associated factors for iron deficiency anaemia among pre-school children in Lagos.

Methodology: The study was conducted from December 2009 to February 2010 at the outpatient clinics of Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Lagos. Serum iron, total iron binding capacity, transferrin saturation and serum ferritin were assayed in subjects. The primary outcome measured was iron deficiency anaemia established based on the following criteria: hemoglobin <11.0 g/dl1 plus 2 or more of the following: MCV <70fl, transferrin saturation <10% or serum ferritin <15ng/ dL. Statistical analysis included Pearson Chi square analysis and logistic regression analysis.

Results: A total of 87 apparently healthy subjects were recruited. Only one subject had iron depletion and this child belonged to the ≤ 2 years age category. None of the recruited subjects had iron deficiency without anaemia. Nine of the study subjects (10.11%) had iron deficiency anaemia. The prevalence of iron deficiency anaemia was significantly higher among younger age group than in the older age group (19.1% Vs 2.1%, p = 0.022). The prevalence of iron deficiency anaemia was significantly higher among subjects with weight-for-age, and weight-for-height Z scores below two standard scores (83.3% and 75.0% respectively, p = <0.001 and 0.001 respectively).

Conclusion: The overall prevalence of iron deficiency anaemia among study subjects was 10.11%. Iron deficiency anaemia was more common in children aged two years and below. Weight-for-age and weight-for-height Z scores below minus two standard scores were strongly associated with iron deficiency anaemia.

Keywords: iron deficiency anaemia, iron depletion, iron deficiency
AJOL African Journals Online