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Anemia in young children living in the Surinamese interior: the influence of age, nutritional status and ethnicity

Authors Zijlmans CWR, Stuursma A, Roelofs AJ, Jubitana BC, MacDonald-Ottevanger MS

Received 19 October 2016

Accepted for publication 12 January 2017

Published 22 February 2017 Volume 2017:8 Pages 21—24


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Thomas Unnasch

CWR Zijlmans,1 A Stuursma,2 AJ Roelofs,2 BC Jubitana,3 MS MacDonald-Ottevanger1

1Department of Mother & Child Health Care, Scientific Research Center Suriname, Academic Hospital Paramaribo, Paramaribo, Suriname; 2Faculty of Medicine, University Medical Center Groningen, Groningen, the Netherlands; 3Department of Monitoring Evaluation Surveillance & Research, Medical Mission PHCS, Paramaribo, Suriname

Purpose: This study investigates the prevalence of anemia in young children living in the interior of Suriname and the influence of the associated factors age, nutritional status and ethnicity.
Patients and methods:
In this cross-sectional observational study, 606 children aged 1–5 years from three different regions of Suriname’s interior were included, and hemoglobin levels and anthropometric measurements were collected. Logistic regression models were computed to examine independent associations between anemic and nonanemic groups and to measure the influence of age, nutritional status and ethnicity.
Results: A total of 606 children were included, of whom 330 (55%) were aged 1–3 years and 276 were aged 4–5 years. The overall prevalence of anemia was 63%. Younger age was associated with anemia (odds ratio [OR]=1.78; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.27–2.51). Anemia was less prevalent in Amerindian than in Maroon children (OR=0.51; 95% CI: 0.34–0.76). Hemoglobin level was not influenced by nutritional status nor by sex.
The prevalence of anemia in children aged 1–5 years living in Suriname’s interior is high (63%) compared to that in similar aged children in Latin America and the Caribbean (4–45%). Children aged 1–3 years were more affected than those aged 4–5 years as were Maroon children compared to Amerindian children. Nutritional status and sex were not of influence.

Maroon, Amerindian, hemoglobin, malnutrition, stunting, younger age

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