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Jornal de Pediatria

Print version ISSN 0021-7557

Abstract

COSTA, Juliana T.; BRACCO, Mario M.; GOMES, Paulo A. P.  and  GURGEL, Ricardo Q.. Prevalence of anemia among preschoolers and response to iron supplementation. J. Pediatr. (Rio J.) [online]. 2011, vol.87, n.1, pp.76-79. ISSN 0021-7557.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0021-75572011000100013.

OBJECTIVES: To assess the prevalence of anemia among children attending public preschools in Ilhabela, state of São Paulo, Brazil, and their response to a treatment regimen. METHODS: Between 2007 and 2008, the weight, height, and hemoglobin levels of 667 children were measured in the school setting. Anemic children were prescribed a 12-week course of ferrous sulfate, and follow-up assessment visits were scheduled for halfway through this course and the end of treatment. RESULTS: The prevalence of anemia was 25.6% (N = 170). The lowest hemoglobin level measured was 9.5 g/dL. Anemia was most prevalent (36%) in children between the ages of 60 and 65 months. Median hemoglobin levels rose to 11.8 g/dL from 10.5 g/dL after treatment; 76% of children recovered from anemia. CONCLUSION: Screening for anemia in the school setting and prompt therapy, including mid-treatment follow-up, proved to be an effective strategy for facing this major public health issue.

Keywords : Anemia; schoolchildren; prevalence; hemoglobin meter.

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