Anaemia in under five children attending a tertiary hospital in central Kerala: a cross sectional study




Child, Anaemia, Iron-deficiency, Prevalence


Background: Anaemia is the most common nutritional problem in the world with significant impact on the neurological and cognitive development of young, growing children. India has a high prevalence of anaemia among its under-five children. The objectives of the study were to estimate the prevalence of anaemia and iron deficiency anaemia in children in the age group 6 months to 5 years.

Methods: A hospital based descriptive study was done on 51 children attending the outpatient department of a tertiary hospital. They were evaluated by obtaining a detailed history, physical examination and haemoglobin and serum ferritin estimation.

Results: The prevalence of anaemia in the present study was 41.2%. 13 (25.5%) had mild anaemia, 8 (15.7%) had moderate anaemia and none had severe anaemia. Iron deficiency anaemia was present in 17 out of 21 children (81%) with anaemia (p<0.00001). There were significant associations between haemoglobin levels and age (p=0.049) and nutritional status (moderate acute malnutrition) (p=0.034) of the children in the study.

Conclusions: The prevalence of anaemia in children under 5 years in Kerala, which has performed well in other health quality indicators, remains high. A multimodal strategy to address this public health problem is required.

Author Biographies

Riya Lukose, Department of Paediatrics, Amala Institute of Medical Sciences, Thrissur, Kerala, India

Assistant Professor, Department of Paediatrics

Thekkumpat S. Athira, Department of Paediatrics, Amala Institute of Medical Sciences, Thrissur, Kerala, India

Assistant Professor, dept of Paediatrics


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