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Healthcare 2015, 3(3), 593-606; doi:10.3390/healthcare3030593

Prevalence of Iron Deficiency and Anemia among Young Children with Acute Diarrhea in Bhaktapur, Nepal

Centre for International Health, University of Bergen, Overlege Danielsens Hus, 5 et. √Örstadveien 21, N-5009 Bergen, Norway
Community Medicine Department, Kathmandu Medical College, Kathmandu University, Kathmandu P.O. Box 21266, Nepal
Department of Child Health, Institute of Medicine, Kathmandu P.O. Box 1524, Nepal
Department of Pediatrics, Kathmandu Medical College, Kathmandu University, Kathmandu P.O. Box 21266, Nepal
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Afaf Girgis
Received: 25 June 2015 / Revised: 26 June 2015 / Accepted: 14 July 2015 / Published: 21 July 2015
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [118 KB, uploaded 21 July 2015]


Iron deficiency anemia is still common in children under five years of age and may impair their growth and cognitive development. Diarrhea is the second most common reason for seeking medical care for young children in Nepal. However, neither screening programs nor effective preventive measures for anemia and iron deficiencies are in place among children with diarrhea in many developing countries. The aims of this study were to determine the prevalence of anemia and iron deficiency and explore their associations with clinical, socioeconomic, and anthropometric parameters in Nepalese children. This was a cross-sectional study based on 1232 children, six to 35 months old, with acute diarrhea participating in a zinc supplementation trial. The mean (SD) hemoglobin was 11.2 g/dL (1.2). Anemia was found in 493 children (40%); this estimate increased to 641 (52%) when we adjusted for the altitude of the study area (hemoglobin <11.3 g/dL). One in every three children had depleted iron stores and 198 (16%) of the children had both depleted iron stores and anemia, indicating iron deficiency anemia. The prevalence of anemia among children presenting with acute diarrhea was high but the degree of severity was mainly mild or moderate. Iron deficiency explained less than half of the total anemia, indicating other nutritional deficiencies inducing anemia might be common in this population. View Full-Text
Keywords: iron deficiency; anemia; diarrhea; children; Nepal iron deficiency; anemia; diarrhea; children; Nepal
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Chandyo, R.K.; Ulak, M.; Adhikari, R.K.; Sommerfelt, H.; Strand, T.A. Prevalence of Iron Deficiency and Anemia among Young Children with Acute Diarrhea in Bhaktapur, Nepal. Healthcare 2015, 3, 593-606.

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