Jornal de Pediatria
Print version ISSN 0021-7557
BRUNKEN, Gisela S.; GUIMARAES, Lenir V. and FISBERG, Mauro. Anemia in children under 3 years of age in public day care centers. J. Pediatr. (Rio J.) [online]. 2002, vol.78, n.1, pp. 50-56. ISSN 0021-7557. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0021-75572002000100011.
Objective: to study the prevalence of anemia in children aged less than 36 months in public day care centers in the city of Cuiabá, state of Mato Grosso, Brazil. Methods: cross-sectional study with all children (n=271) less than 36 months of age who attended public day care centers in mid-1997. Children were evaluated as to their hemoglobin levels (venous blood, analyzed at the Central State Laboratory) and anthropometric indicators (weight/age, height/age, weight/height).Results: a high prevalence (63%) of anemia associated with age, weight and height deficit, and time of admittance at kindergarten was observed. The prevalence of malnutrition was 0.8% according to the weight/height ratio, 5.0% according to weight/age deficit, and showed an inadequacy of 10.3% as to the height/age ratio. Thus, the percentage of anemic children was six times higher than the height deficit and twelve times higher than the weight deficit. Malnutrition was not in fact associated with anemia, but at extreme anthropometric cut-off points of height and weight for age (< -2 z score), there is an association between these conditions.Conclusion: the high prevalence of anemia is regarded as a severe public health problem among preschool children in the city of Cuiabá.
Keywords : iron-deficiency anemia; epidemiology; child day care centers.