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J Health Popul Nutr. 2007 Sep;25(3):285-93.

Dietary intake and anthropometric status differ for anaemic and non-anaemic rural South African infants aged 6-12 months.

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  • 1Nutritional Intervention Research Unit, Medical Research Council, South Africa.


The study was undertaken to determine anthropometric measurements, sociodemographic data, and dietary intake of 238 anaemic and 241 non-anaemic rural South African infants aged 6-12 months. Logistic regression with anaemia as a dependent variable showed an odds ratio (OR) of 1.89 (95% confidence interval [CI] 1.01-3.52) for low birth-weight, 2.04 (CI 1.29-3.22) for maternal age 20 years or younger, 2.21 (CI 1.29-3.76) for consumption of tea, and 0.40 (CI 0.26-0.63) for formula feeding. The anaemic infants, aged 6- < 9 months, had a lower average weight gain per month than the non-anaemic infants (727 g vs 772 g; p = 0.040, analysis of variance). Logistic regression with underweight as a dependent variable showed an OR of 3.55 (CI 1.26-10.01) for anaemia, and with stunting as a dependent variable, the OR was 2.71 (CI 1.46-5.02). Low birth-weight, a young mother aged 20 years or younger, and consumption of tea were identified as risk factors for anaemia, while formula feeding was shown to have a protective effect. The anaemic infants were more likely to show growth faltering.

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