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Revista de Nutrição

Print version ISSN 1415-5273


LISBOA, Maria Beatriz Monteiro de Castro et al. Prevalence of iron-deficiency anemia in children aged less than 60 months: A population-based study from the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil. Rev. Nutr. [online]. 2015, vol.28, n.2, pp.121-131. ISSN 1415-5273.


To identify the prevalence of iron-deficiency anemia in children aged less than 60 months and the conditioning factors in Minas Gerais, Brazil.


This cross-sectional study conducted from February 2007 to July 2008 in Minas Gerais included a random sample of 725 male and female children aged less than 60 months. A household survey was administered to the children's parents or guardians to collect socioeconomic, demographic, food security, and the child's anthropometric data. The hemoglobin level was determined by a portable hemoglobinometer. Anemia was considered present when hemoglobin levels were below 11.0 g/dL. Statistical analyses estimated the prevalence of anemia and its association with socioeconomic, demographic, and food security-related variables. The model was adjusted by multivariate logistic regression. The significance level was set at 5% (p<0.05).


The prevalence of anemia was 37.4%. The greatest prevalence occurred in the age group 6 to 24 months (43.0%). The associated variables were being female (PR=1.43; p<0.026); age (PR=1.53; p<0.024); and not frequenting a daycare center (PR=2.41; p<0.001). In the multivariate regression model, the variables being female and not frequenting a daycare center remained in the model.


The present population-based study found that in Minas Gerais, one-third (37.5%) of the children aged less than 60 months have iron-deficiency anemia. The results show that not frequenting a daycare center and being female are risk factors for anemia.

Keywords : Anemia iron-deficiency; Food security; Prevalence; Risk factors.

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