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Indian Pediatr. 2000 Mar;37(3):261-7.

Identification of an appropriate strategy to control anemia in adolescent girls of poor communities.

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  • 1Nutrition Foundation of India, C-13, Qutab Institutional Area, New Delhi 110016, India.



To obtain baseline data on hemoglobin (Hb) levels of adolescent girls belonging to the low-socio-economic groups; investigate the comparative efficacy of once 'weekly' and 'daily' administration of iron-folate tablets with respect to impact on the Hb levels; and find out the effect of added ascorbic acid supplementation on the efficacy of iron-folate administration with respect to increment in Hb levels.


Randomized experimental.


Adolescent girls of poor communities in urban areas of Delhi and rural parts of Bharatpur (Rajasthan).


The baseline investigations included measurements of height, weight, and Hb levels. The Hb levels of the participating subjects were measured again after 3 months and 6 months of supplementation.


61.9% of the subjects in the urban and 85.4% in the rural area were anemic. The response of Hb levels to daily iron/folate supplementation was better in comparison to once-weekly supplementation. The increment in Hb levels of subjects due to addition of vitamin C to iron/folate supplementation was more than that with supplementation of iron/folate alone.


Considering compliance, feasibility and cost-factors, a public-health approach consisting of once-weekly distribution of iron/folate supplementation through schools and welfare centers is better and can be recommended as an appropriate strategy for combating anemia in adolescent girls of poor communities in developing countries like India.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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