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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 28  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 663-669

Epidemiology of iron-deficiency anemia among primary school children (6-11 years), Menoufia governorate, Egypt

Department of Public Health and Community Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Menoufia University, Al-Menoufia, Egypt

Correspondence Address:
Nehad B Abdel-Aaty
Departments of Public Health and Community Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Menoufia University, Gamal Abdel Nasser Street, Shebin El-Kom, Al-Menoufia 32111
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1110-2098.165127

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Background Iron deficiency is the most prevalent nutritional disorder worldwide and nearly two billion individuals have anemia. Iron deficiency is the most frequent cause of anemia, especially in infants, preschool children, and school-aged children; it is related to a variety of developmental and behavioral changes. Objective This study aimed to estimate the prevalence and identify possible risk factors of iron-deficiency anemia (IDA) among a representative sample of primary school children (6-11 years), Menoufia governorate. Participants and methods A cross-sectional descriptive study was carried out in Menoufia governorate. This study was carried out in Shebin El-Kom city. The study sample included 497 students (242 boys, 255 girls). Blood samples and questionnaires were collected through school visits. A complete blood count was performed on all collected samples, and a serum ferritin test was carried out for anemic ones. Results The prevalence of IDA was 25.6%. The result showed that anemia was higher in children from urban areas (63.8%) than rural areas (36.2%) and in children from low and middle socioeconomic (59.1%) backgrounds than those from high socioeconomic standard (40.9%). There was a significant relationship between children without IDA and anemic children in dietary habits, school achievements, and manifestations related to anemia (P < 0.05). Conclusion and recommendations The prevalence of iron deficiency is high among primary school children; to combat this problem, a program should be implemented by the government, especially the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Health, targeting both children and their parents through different public media approaches. Programs should focus on the nutritional and behavioral needs of this group of children, such as comprehensive iron supplementation programs.

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