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J Community Health. 2015 Apr;40(2):331-8. doi: 10.1007/s10900-014-9939-2.

Adolescent anemia screening during ambulatory pediatric visits in the United States.

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Department of Pediatrics, Penn State College of Medicine, 500 University Drive, HS83, Hershey, PA, 17033, USA,


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends anemia screening for reproductive age women every 5-10 years and annually for those with risk factors. Due to the lower risk of anemia among males, screening for men is recommended only if risk factors exist. The study objective was to examine health care professionals' current anemia screening patterns for male and female adolescents. Data are from the 2001 -2004 National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey, a nationally representative sample of ambulatory visits to primary care practices. The frequency of anemia screening during preventive care visits by 12-21-year-olds was estimated by sex using a reported hemoglobin/hematocrit or complete blood count as an indicator of screening. Multivariable logistic regression identified patient, provider and practice-level factors associated with screening. During the study period, 1,263 preventive care visits occurred for 12-21 year-olds. In bivariate analysis, higher odds of anemia screening were observed for both younger females (OR 1.85; 95 % CI 1.09-3.14) and older males [1.83 (1.02-3.26)] compared to older females (≥ 16 years). In the multivariable model, odds of screening increased with non-white race [3.29 (1.84-5.88)], tobacco use [3.57 (1.94-6.58)], longer visit length [1.03 (1.01-1.06)], and practice site acceptance of managed care plans [2.08 (1.04-4.14)]. Patient sex and age were not statistically significant predictors of screening. Although anemia is more prevalent among older adolescent females, they were not more likely to be screened. This suggests providers are not targeting groups at highest risk of anemia for screening.

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