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Revista Brasileira de Epidemiologia

Print version ISSN 1415-790XOn-line version ISSN 1980-5497


MARIATH, Aline Brandão et al. Prevalence of anemia and hemoglobin serum levels in adolescents according to sexual maturation stage. Rev. bras. epidemiol. [online]. 2006, vol.9, n.4, pp.454-461. ISSN 1415-790X.

Accelerated growth spurt during adolescence leads to increased nutritional requirements, including iron, therefore posing a nutritional risk to adolescents. The present study aimed to assess the prevalence of anemia and hemoglobin serum levels according to the sexual maturation stage in a representative sample comprised of 272 adolescents enrolled in public schools in Balneário Camboriú, SC. Self-assessment of sexual maturation was carried out according to criteria defined by Tanner (1962). Hemoglobin serum levels were measured through the HemoCue® system and the diagnosis of iron deficiency was based on the cut off points proposed by the World Health Organization (2001). Differences were considered significant at the level of p<0.05. We found a prevalence of 31.2% of anemia without significant differences between genders. Hemoglobin serum levels were significantly higher in boys (p=0.044) than in girls. We did not find significant differences between mean hemoglobin levels of girls who had reached menarche and the ones who had not. There was no statistical association between the presence of anemia and sexual maturation stages of adolescents (c2=1.17; p=0.56). An increase in mean hemoglobin serum levels was observed along with sexual maturation in boys, but not in girls. The results of the present study showed a moderate prevalence of anemia, but did not point out any relation between anemia and sexual maturation in the population studied.

Keywords : Anemia; Hemoglobin; Sexual maturation; Puberty; Adolescents.

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