Annals of African Medicine
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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 14  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 25-31

Iron deficiency anemia in an Egyptian pediatric population: A cross-sectional study

1 Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, Fayoum University, Faiyum, Egypt
2 Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt
3 Department of Public Health and Community Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt

Correspondence Address:
Eman Fawzy Halawa
23, Dr. Naguib Mahfouz Street, Abbas El Akad Street, 8th District, Nasr City, P. O. Box 11471, Cairo
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1596-3519.148725

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Objective: The aim of this study is to assess the frequency of iron deficiency anemia (IDA) and associated sociodemographic factors among children between 6 months and 12 years of age. Materials and Methods: This cross-sectional study enrolled 300 children from June 2011 to June 2012 visiting the pediatric outpatient clinics of Al-Fayoum University Hospital. Data were collected using a structured interview questionnaire. Sociodemographic variables studied included sex, residence, family size, fathers' education, mothers' education, and crowding index. Included patients were evaluated clinically and laboratory for complete blood picture, serum iron, serum ferritin, and transferrin saturation. Results: It was found that 64% of studied children had IDA (20% mild, 41.7% moderate, and 2.3% severe). The logistic regression analysis found that children from rural areas, those from low social class and those of low maternal educational level had a higher risk for IDA than other children. Infants with IDA were found to consume foods with low iron content 50% below recommended daily allowance. Conclusion: The high frequency of IDA is a severe public health problem in developing countries like Egypt, especially in children from rural areas, those from low social class and those of low maternal educational level. Iron-rich foods should be advised by health care providers. Prophylactic iron supplements should be given to all infants from 6 to 23 months.

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