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Rev Saude Publica. 2003 Aug;37(4):397-403. Epub 2003 Aug 20.

[Anemia and birthweight].

[Article in Portuguese]

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  • 1Departamento de Enfermagem, Universidade Estadual de Maringá, Maringá, PR, Brasil.



To verify the influence of Low Birthweight (LBW) on child anemia and malnutrition during the first year of life.


Sample population included all children under one year seen at Health Units of the municipality of Maringá, southern Brazil, in 1998. Total sample size was 587 children. LBW was defined as birthweight below 2 500 g. The analysis of growth for the weigh-for-age and height-for-age indicators was based on National Center for Health Statistics standards. For anemia diagnosis, a biochemical hemoglobin concentration dosage, using HemoCue direct colorimetric method was employed. Children with [Hb] <11,0 g/dL were considered as anemic.


Fifty-eight percent of the studied population were anemic, and 37 children (6.3%) presented LBW. Anemia was more prevalent during the second semester of life (p=0.0093). Undernutrition, as indicated by the height-for-age indicator, was high especially for children aged 0-3 months with LBW.


Although LBW rates among the studied population were similar to those of developed countries, we suggest the implementation of specific antenatal care for high-risk women, aiming at reducing LBW, an event that affects the child, hampering its growth and increasing the risk of anemia and its countless deleterious consequences.

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