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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 899-903

Recognizing missed opportunities to diagnose and treat iron deficiency anemia: A study based on prevalence of anemia among children in a teaching hospital

1 Department of Paediatric Medicine, Institute of Child Health, Kolkata, West Bengal, India
2 Department of Biochemistry, Institute of Child Health, Kolkata, West Bengal, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Suchi Acharya
A-1/5, Diamond Park, Joka, Opposite ESI Hospital Joka, Kolkata - 700104, West Bengal
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jfmpc.jfmpc_81_19

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Background: In developing world, anemia is a significant cause of mortality and morbidity in children under 5 years of age. Iron deficiency anemia (IDA) is a very important causative factor for childhood anemia. The aim of this study was to find the prevalence of anemia in different age group, sex, and its pattern of severity in hospitalized children. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional study was carried out in a teaching hospital in Kolkata between April 2016 and September 2016. Children 1–168 months of age were included in the study. Results: Of 697 children, 296 (42.5%) had anemia as per the World Health Organization criteria. Males outnumbered the females with a ratio of 1.6:1. The median age of presentation was 29.6 months. The majority were from 1–5 years of age. About 73.3% of children had moderate anemia, whereas 21.3% had severe anemia and only 5% had mild anemia. The mean hemoglobin, mean mean corpuscular volume, mean mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration, and mean red cell distribution width were 9.3 ± 1.4 g/dL, 73.6 ± 8.8 (fL), 32.2 ± 2.6, and 16.3 ± 3.4 (%), respectively. Microcytic hypochromic anemia (71.3%) was the most common morphological type in all age groups, whereas macrocytic anemia was the least common among them. Prevalence of IDA was 69%. IDA was documented in close to 80% of children with microcytic hypochromic anemia. Interestingly, IDA was also documented in almost half of the children with normocytic normochromic anemia. Conclusion: The high prevalence of IDA among these hospitalized children indicates the role of early screening for IDA in all children with anemia. This early diagnosis and prompt management can prevent the mortality and morbidity related to IDA.

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