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Revista de Saúde Pública

Print version ISSN 0034-8910On-line version ISSN 1518-8787


ASSUNCAO, Maria Cecília Formoso et al. Anemia in children under six: population-based study in Pelotas, Southern Brazil. Rev. Saúde Pública [online]. 2007, vol.41, n.3, pp.328-335. ISSN 0034-8910.

OBJECTIVE: To assess the prevalence of anemia among children under six years of age in a probabilistic sample from an urban area. METHODS: A study was conducted comprising children aged zero to five years in the city of Pelotas, Southern Brazil, in 2004. Data were collected on demographic, socioeconomic, and anthropometric characteristics, morbidity and nutrition using a questionnaire applied to the mothers and guardians. Children's weight and height measurements were obtained. Hemoglobin concentration was measured using the HemoCue portable hemoglobinometer and anemia was defined as hemoglobin <11 g/dL. The association between anemia and predictors was expressed as prevalence ratio. Multivariate analysis was carried out using Poisson regression following a conceptual model and taking into account the study design effect. RESULTS: There were identified 534 children and total losses and refusals were 27 (5.1%). The prevalence of anemia was 30.2% (95% CI 23.5%;37.0%). In the multivariate analysis, only age and family income remained significantly associated with anemia. CONCLUSIONS: Anemia was largely socially determined in the population studied. Interventions aiming at reducing anemia should be developed to lessen this condition in the short run targeting disadvantaged populations.

Keywords : Anemia [epidemiology]; Child; Risk factors; Cross-sectional studies.

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