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Revista de Nutrição

Print version ISSN 1415-5273On-line version ISSN 1678-9865


CAVALCANTI, Débora Silva et al. Iron intake and its association with iron-deficiency anemia in agricultural workers' families from the Zona da Mata of Pernambuco, Brazil. Rev. Nutr. [online]. 2014, vol.27, n.2, pp.217-227. ISSN 1678-9865.


To verify the association between dietary iron intake and the occurrence of iron-deficiency anemia in agricultural workers' families from the municipality of Gameleira in the state of Pernambuco, Brazil.


The study population consisted of 46 harvesters' families, consisting of 225 individuals. The food intake of each individual was recorded on three different days by directly weighing the foods consumed. Hemoglobin was determined by fingerstick (HemoCue). This research used the probability of adequacy method to assess iron intake and the paired ttest for comparing groups. The Spearman Mann-Whitney test estimated associations between the dietary variables and anemia.


The prevalence of anemia was high in all ages groups and highest (67.6%) in children aged <5 years with a mean hemoglobin of 10.37 g/dL (±1.30 g/dL). Children aged <5 years had low percentage of iron intake adequacy (53.1%). Most of them consumed diets with low iron bioavailability (47.5%). Associations between the occurrence of anemia and dietary variables were significant for total iron (heme and nonheme), its bioavailabilities, and general meat intake.


Inadequate dietary iron intake and inadequate intake of factors that facilitate iron absorption can be considered decisive for the occurrence of iron-deficiency anemia. Food insecurity occurs between family members, with some members being favored over others with regard to the intake of good dietary iron sources.

Keywords : Iron deficiency anemia; Family; Food consumption; Iron deficiency; Iron dietary.

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