Health Updates

Anemia Prevalent in Younger Boys Who Are Underweight, Study Shows

A recent study from the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (PDR) shows that anemia is prevalent among children, specifically younger boys who are underweight.

Photo: Anemia is prevalent in younger boys | InStyleHealth

Experts performed a cross-sectional analysis on a nationally representative sample of 5,067 children (51.7% were boys) aged 6 – 59 months. Anemia was identified through hemoglobin testing, and levels below 11.0 g/dL were considered anemic.

Average hemoglobin level in this study sample was 11.09 g/dL, and the resulting prevalence rate of anemia was 43%. Anemia was more common among children aged 6 – 11 months, and among those who had diarrhea and fever in the last 2 weeks.

Utilizing the multilevel binary logistic regression analysis revealed that boys were 16% more likely to have anemia than girls. Children who were underweight saw a 30% increase in the risk of having anemia.

However, older children were significantly protected against anemia. Relative to the 6 – 11 months age group, those who were 12 – 23, 24 – 35, and 48 – 59 months of age were less likely to have anemia.

For the household level, having a better educated head of household was also a significant protective factor against anemia in children.

Researchers stated that to improve the health and well-being of anemic children below 5 years in the Lao PDR, it is necessary to focus strongly on improving the nutritional status of the children, and prevention of childhood anemia should be considered as a major priority of public health interventions.

For complete and full details of this clinical study, click here.

Source: PLoS One 2021;doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0248969

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