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Prevalence of iron-deficiency anaemia and low iron status and feeding practices among 9 months old infants in Vancouver Lwanga, Dorcas Namubiru


Iron-deficiency anaemia (IDA) is considered to be the most common nutritional deficiency among infants and children worldwide. The consequences of IDA on the developing central nervous system may be irreversible; these may include delayed mental and motor development, and reduced school performance. Infants are particularly prone to develop IDA if given foods low in iron content or foods that contain iron of low bioavailability. Infants from low socioeconomic background and Asian, Black or Hispanic infants, are believed to be at higher risk for IDA than White infants. There are no published studies on iron status in relation to feeding history from British Columbia or other parts of Canada. The purpose of this study was to determine the prevalence of IDA and low iron status in 9 month old infants in Vancouver, British Columbia, and to determine which infants are at highest risk for IDA and low iron status based on their feeding history, economic and ethnic background. Infants who could participate in the study were identified from birth and death lists provided by the Vancouver Public Health Department. Eligibility criteria were that the infant was full term (gestational age a: 37- $20,000. The low number of infants in this group limits the ability to predict the true prevalence of IDA and low iron status, or the association with income in the single parent families. No statistically significant association was found between the infants' iron status and the mothers' level of education. A higher prevalence of iron-deficiency anaemia and low iron status was found in infants of mothers born in Canada compared to infants of mothers not born in Canada. The difference was statistically significant (p

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