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Health Rep. 2012 Dec;23(4):41-8.

Iron sufficiency of Canadians.

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1
Nutrition Research Division, Health Canada.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Iron deficiency is the most common nutritional deficiency in the world, but little is known about the iron status of people in Canada, where the last estimates are from 1970-1972.

DATA AND METHODS:

The data are from cycle 2 (2009 to 2011) of the Canadian Health Measures Survey, which collected blood samples from a nationally representative sample of Canadians aged 3 to 79. Descriptive statistics (percentages, arithmetic means, geometric means) were used to estimate hemoglobin and serum ferritin concentrations, and other markers of iron status. Analyses were performed by age/sex group, household income, self-perceived health, diet, and use of iron supplements. World Health Organization reference values (2001) were used to estimate the prevalence of iron sufficiency and anemia.

RESULTS:

The overall prevalence of anemia was low in the 2009-to-2011 period--97% of Canadians had sufficient hemoglobin levels. Generally, hemoglobin concentration increased compared with 1970-1972; however, at ages 65 to 79, rates of anemia were higher than in 1970-1972. Depleted iron stores were found in 13% of females aged 12 to 19 and 9% of females aged 20 to 49. Lower household income was associated with a lower prevalence of hemoglobin sufficiency, but was not related to lower serum ferritin sufficiency. Self-perceived health and diet were not significantly associated with hemoglobin and serum ferritin levels.

INTERPRETATION:

The lack of a relationship between iron status and diet may be attributable to the use of questions about food consumption frequency that were not specifically designed to estimate dietary iron intake. Factors other than iron intake might have contributed to the increase in the prevalence of anemia among seniors.

PMID:
23356044
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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