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Prevalence of iron deficiency anemia in Iranian children under 6 years of age: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Authors Nazari M, Mohammadnejad E, Dalvand S, Ghanei Gheshlagh R

Received 27 November 2018

Accepted for publication 13 March 2019

Published 29 April 2019 Volume 2019:10 Pages 111—117

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/JBM.S196102

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Amy Norman

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Martin Bluth


Mahboubeh Nazari,1 Esmaeil Mohammadnejad,2 Sahar Dalvand,3 Reza Ghanei Gheshlagh4,5

1Department of Nursing, Garmsar Branch, Islamic Azad University, Garmsar, Iran; 2Department of Nursing, Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran; 3Biostatistics Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran; 4Department of Nursing, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Kurdistan University of Medical Sciences, Sanandaj, Iran; 5Clinical Care Research Center, Kurdistan University of Medical Sciences, Sanandaj, Iran

Background: Iron deficiency anemia is a prevalent condition among children in developing and developed countries that leads to impaired development, activity intolerance, behavioral changes, irritability, and reduced learning ability. The studies conducted in Iran have reported different prevalence rates for this condition. This systematic review and meta-analysis were aimed at estimating the prevalence of iron deficiency anemia in Iranian children under 6 years of age.
Methodology: Persian and English articles published from 2001 to 2018 were collected. The search process was conducted in national and international databases, including SID, MagIran, PubMed, Scopus, and Web of Science, using the following keywords and their combinations: Iron, Iron deficiency, Iron deficiency anemia, Ferritin, Child, Children, and Iran. The data were analyzed using the meta-analysis and random effects model. Heterogeneity was assessed using the I2, statistic. All analyses were performed using the STATA software, version 12.
Results: Analysis of six selected articles with a total sample size of 1,700 showed that the prevalence rates of iron deficiency and iron deficiency anemia in the Iranian children under 6 years of age were 27.7% (95% CI: 11.9–43.5) and 18.2% (95% CI: 14.3–22), respectively. In addition, the prevalence of iron deficiency anemia was higher in boys (17.7% with 95% CI: 5.9–29.5) than in girls (14.4% with 95% CI: 4.5–24.2).
Conclusion: About one-fifth of Iranian children under the age of 6 years suffer from iron deficiency anemia. Identification of those at risk of developing this condition with the goal of prevention, diagnosis, and treatment seems to be an important and necessary task.

Keywords: anemia, iron deficiency anemia, iron, meta-analysis, Iran, prevalence


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