Anemia and associated factors among Kuwaiti preschool children and their mothers
Background: Anemia is a major nutritional health problem throughout the world.
Objectives: To determine the prevalence and the factors associated with anemia among Kuwaiti children aged 4–5 years.
Design: A sample of 578 Kuwaiti preschool children (4–5 years of age) and their mothers were selected from ongoing Kuwait Nutrition Surveillance System from September 2003 to June 2004. Mothers participated in an interview where demographic; health and nutrition information was collected. Anthropometrical data and blood sample were also collected for children and mothers; anemia was defined as hemoglobin <11 g/dl for children and <12 g/dl for mothers.
Results: The risk of having anemia was 1.8 times more in children aged 5 years than in children aged 4 years; a moderately/severely stunted child was 2.3 times prone to be anemic than a normal child; a moderately/severely overweight child was less likely to be anemic; a child who was breastfed for less than one month was 2.8 times more at risk of being anemic than a child who was breastfed for more than 6 months; a child who was given cereals as a weaning food was 3.5 times of becoming anemic than a child given meat and egg as a weaning food. Children of mothers whose age was <30 years, and children of anemic mothers were more likely to become anemic.
Conclusions: Anemia remains a common health problem for Kuwaiti preschool children and further studies are needed to focus on etiologies and interventions.