The high prevalence of iron deficiency in the population is widely acknowledged, but there are not yet sufficient studies that explain the reasons for this problem at local and national level. Thus, the scope of this study was to evaluate the prevalence of anemia and its relation with socio-demographic and anthropometric aspects of children living in Vitoria, Espírito Santo. This is a cross-sectional study conducted among 12- to 72-month-old children. Data were collected in Primary Healthcare Units and involved the hemoglobin dosage, height and weight measurement, in addition to the application of a semi-structured questionnaire to gather socio-demographic information. The evaluation included 980 children, 51.1% of which were female with a median age of 46.00 (95%CI: 45.52 - 48.09) months. Anemia was found in 37%, with a hemoglobin median of 11.4 (95%CI: 11.15 - 11.36) g/dL. The children's' height/age ratio (p = 0.049) and the number of people in the family (p < 0.001) were found to be determinants of anemia, and age was a factor of protection for this deficiency (p = 0.010). The high prevalence of anemia and its strong relation with demographic and anthropometric data suggest the need for more effective public policies than just food fortification and supplementation.
Anemia; Child health; Socioeconomic factors; Child well-being; Population characteristics