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Research Articles

Association of iron and vitamin A status with birth weight and anaemia among 6 month old infants in an urban population of Sri Lanka

Authors:

Vithanage Pujitha Wickramasinghe ,

LK
About Vithanage Pujitha
Department of Paediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo, Kynsey Road, Colombo 08.
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Pulani Lanerolle,

LK
About Pulani

Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo, Kynsey Road, Colombo 08.

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Carukshi Arambepola,

LK
About Carukshi

Department of Community Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo, Kynsey Road, Colombo 08.

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Tharanga Thoradeniya,

LK
About Tharanga

Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo, Kynsey Road, Colombo 08.

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Dhanushka Mendis,

LK
About Dhanushka

Department of Paediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo, Kynsey Road, Colombo 08.

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Thilini Dinesha

LK
About Thilini
Department of Paediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo, Kynsey Road, Colombo 08.
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Abstract

Iron and vitamin A deficiencies are the commonest nutrition related problems in childhood, leading to severe health consequences. The objective of this study was to assess the relationship of iron and vitamin A status with birth weight and anaemia at 6 months of age of Sri Lankan infants. Ninety six healthy infants, aged 6 ‒ 6.5 months, were recruited from two Well-Baby Clinics in the Colombo Municipal Council area. Anthropometric parameters were assessed and an interviewer administered questionnaire was used to obtain data on their basic characteristics and feeding practices. Haemoglobin, serum ferritin, and retinol concentrations were estimated. The mean concentrations (CI) of haemoglobin, serum ferritin and serum retinol at 6 months were 11.2 g/dL (95 % CI 9.0, 13.3), 15.5 μg/L (95 % CI 11.0, 20.0) and 34.8 μg/dL (95 % CI 19.3, 50.3), respectively. The prevalence of anaemia (haemoglobin < 11 g/dL) was 43.0 % (95 % CI 33, 53), while iron deficiency (serum ferritin < 12 μg/L) was 36.8 % (95 % CI 27, 47). Both were relatively high. In contrast, only one child had vitamin A deficiency (serum retinol < 20 μg/dL). A significantly higher prevalence of anaemia (47 versus 41 %) and lower serum ferritin [11.5 (95 % CI 6.4, 16.6) versus 15.8 (95 % CI 11.5, 20.1) μg/L] was seen among low birth weight infants compared to normal birth weight infants. The prevalence of iron deficiency was higher among anaemic infants compared to non-anaemic infants (49 versus 29 %), and among low birth weight infants compared to normal weight infants (60 versus 33 %). However, these differences were not significant (p > 0.05). Although anaemia and iron deficiency were observed in these infants, vitamin A deficiency was not observed. Starting iron supplementation at six months could be beneficial while vitamin A supplementation programme needs re-evaluation. 

How to Cite: Wickramasinghe, V.P. et al., (2017). Association of iron and vitamin A status with birth weight and anaemia among 6 month old infants in an urban population of Sri Lanka. Journal of the National Science Foundation of Sri Lanka. 45(2), pp.113–120. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/jnsfsr.v45i2.8177
Published on 29 Jun 2017.
Peer Reviewed

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