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Nutrition. 2003 May;19(5):405-8.

Vitamin A deficiency, iron deficiency, and anemia among preschool children in the Republic of the Marshall Islands.

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  • 1Department of Family Practice and Community Health, John A Burns School of Medicine, University of Hawaii, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

We investigated the co-occurrence of vitamin A deficiency, iron deficiency, and anemia among young children in the Republic of the Marshall Islands.

METHODS:

Hemoglobin, serum retinol, and serum ferritin were assessed in the Republic of the Marshall Islands Vitamin A Deficiency Study, a community-based survey that involved 919 children ages 1 to 5 y.

RESULTS:

The proportion of children with vitamin A deficiency (serum retinol concentrations < 0.70 microM/L) was 59.9%. The prevalences of anemia (hemoglobin < 110 g/L), iron deficiency (serum ferritin < 12 microg/L), and iron deficiency anemia (iron deficiency and anemia) were 36.4%, 53.5%, and 23.8%, respectively. The proportion of children who had co-occurrence of vitamin A and iron deficiencies was 33.2%. The mean ages of children with and without vitamin A deficiency were 3.2 +/- 1.4 and 2.9 +/- 1.5 y, respectively (P = 0.01), and the mean ages of those with and without iron deficiency were 2.7 +/- 1.3 and 3.5 +/- 1.4 y, respectively (P < 0.0001).

CONCLUSIONS:

Children in the Republic of the Marshall Islands, ages 1 to 5 y, are at high risk of anemia, vitamin A deficiency, and iron deficiency, and one-third of these children had the co-occurrence of vitamin A and iron deficiencies. Further investigation is needed to identify risk factors and evaluate interventions to address vitamin A and iron deficiencies among children.

PMID:
12714090
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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