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Jornal de Pediatria

Print version ISSN 0021-7557On-line version ISSN 1678-4782


ORELLANA, Jesem D. Y.; COIMBRA JR, Carlos E. A.; LOURENCO, Ana Eliza Port  and  SANTOS, Ricardo Ventura. Nutritional status and anemia in Suruí Indian children, Brazilian Amazon. J. Pediatr. (Rio J.) [online]. 2006, vol.82, n.5, pp.383-388. ISSN 0021-7557.

OBJECTIVE: To assess the nutritional status of Suruí Indian children aged less than 10 years by means of anthropometric measurements and determination of hemoglobin concentration levels. METHODS: The study was carried out from February to March 2005 in the Sete de Setembro Indian Reservation, located on the boundary between the states of Rondônia and Mato Grosso, Amazonia, Brazil. Height and weight were measured according to standard procedures and then compared with the National Center for Health Statistics reference values (n = 284). Hemoglobin concentration was determined by a portable b-hemoglobinometer (Hemocue) (n = 268). RESULTS: The percentages of children > -2 z scores for height for age, weight for age and weight for height were 25.4, 8.1 and 0%, respectively. For children aged less than 5 years, the percentages were 31.4, 12.4 and 0%. Most children had anemia (80.6%), with a rate of up to 84.0% among those aged 6 to 59 months. CONCLUSIONS: There is a high prevalence of protein-energy undernutrition and anemia among Suruí children. Comparison with a previous survey indicated that the prevalence of height for age deficit significantly decreased between 1987 and 2005 (from 46.3 to 26.7% in children younger than 9 years). On the other hand, 3.9% of the children were overweight in 2005, a finding that had not been reported in 1987. The prevalence of anemia did not change remarkably between these years. Despite the improvement in anthropometric parameters, the prevalence of nutritional deficit has been persistently higher than that observed in the Brazilian population at large. It is therefore necessary that systematic and regular monitoring of indigenous children's growth and development be implemented, focusing mainly on nutritional surveillance.

Keywords : Malnutrition; anthropometry; hemoglobin; child health; American Indians.

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