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Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2012 Sep;87(3):425-34. doi: 10.4269/ajtmh.2012.11-0788. Epub 2012 Jul 30.

Etiology of anemia among infants, school-aged children, and young non-pregnant women in different settings of South-Central Cote d'Ivoire.

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Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, Basel, Switzerland.


Anemia affects one-quarter of the world's population, but its etiology remains poorly understood. We determined the prevalence of anemia and studied underlying risk factors in infants (6-23 months), young school-aged children (6-8 years), and young non-pregnant women (15-25 years) in south-central Côte d'Ivoire. Blood, stool, and urine samples were subjected to standardized, quality-controlled methods. We found high prevalence of anemia, malaria, inflammation, and deficiencies of iron, riboflavin, and vitamin A but low prevalence and intensities of soil-transmitted helminth and schistosome infections. Multivariate regression analysis revealed significant associations between anemia and Plasmodium falciparum for infants, inflammation for school-aged children, and cellular iron deficiency for both school-aged children and non-pregnant women. Women with riboflavin deficiency had significantly lower odds of anemia. Our findings call for interventions to protect infants from malaria, improved intake of dietary iron, better access to health care, and health education.

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