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Contribution of malnutrition and malaria to anemia in children in rural communities of Edo state, Nigeria

Author(s): Favour Osazuwa | Oguntade Michael Ayo

Journal: North American Journal of Medical Sciences
ISSN 1947-2714

Volume: 2;
Issue: 11;
Start page: 532;
Date: 2010;
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Keywords: Anemia | malnutrition | children | iron deficiency | malaria.

Background: The most common cause of anemia is an iron deficiency; however, the condition may also be caused by deficiencies in folate, vitamin B12 and protein. Some anemia is not caused by nutritional factors, but by congenital factors and parasitic diseases such as malaria. Aim: This study attempted to estimate the prevalence of anemia among children in three rural communities of the Ovia North East Local government area, and to determine whether its cause was nutritional or could be attributed to malaria. Patients and Methods: A total of 316 children between the ages of 1 and 15 years were included in the study. Children were examined for malaria parasites by microscopy. The World Health Organization (WHO) age-adjusted cut-off for hemoglobin was used to classify anemia. Results: 38.6% of the children were anemic, with hemoglobin levels lower than 11g/dL, although parasite prevalence and density were low. Malnutrition was patent; 37.0% of the children were stunted, 19.3% wasted and 44.0% underweight. Serum ferritin was more sensitive than hemoglobin concentration in detecting anemic children. Anemia was also significantly higher in the Evbuomore village school than in the Ekosodin and Isiohor villages (P
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