Iron deficiency anaemia in young children (6 to 23 months) in relation to complementary feeding practices in rural Telangana, India

K. Sailaja, K. Venkataramana Reddy, K. Abhishek Reddy, S. Keerthi


Background: Iron deficiency, is the most common micronutrient deficiency seen in all age groups throughout the world. Young infants are more vulnerable because of growing size and increased demand. Iron deficiency anaemia due to improper complementary feeding practices in young children, will affect growth, cognitive and immune functions of the growing child.

Methods: A cross sectional study was conducted from 01-05-2016 to 01-02-2017, at the Department of Paediatrics, S. V. S. Medical College and Hospital, Mahabubnagar, Telangana, India. The study included 130 children attended to our well baby clinics. A questionnaire was filled by mothers after taking consent. Data was Collected data was analysed using statistical package SPSS software version-19. Chi-square test was carried to test the relation. P-Value < 0.05 was considered as significant.

Results: Prolonged breast feeding, late weaning, parent’s educational status and socioeconomic status are found to significant (p value <0.05) risk factors in contributing to the development of iron deficiency anaemia.

Conclusions: As young infants are more prone for iron deficiency anaemia in the later part of first year, implementation of proper complementary feeding practices as advised by Infant and Young Child Feeding practices are essential. 


Complementary feeding practices, Iron deficiency anaemia, Prolonged breast feeding

Full Text:



WHO, Micronutrient Deficiencies: Iron Deficiency Anaemia, World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland; 2014. Available from: Accessed on: 23.12.2017

Institute of Medicine (US) Panel on Micronutrients. Dietary Reference Intakes for Vitamin A, Vitamin K, Arsenic, Boron, Chromium, Copper, Iodine, Iron, Manganese, Molybdenum, Nickel, Silicon, Vanadium, and Zinc. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 2001. Available from: doi: 10.17226/10026

WHO, UNICEF, UNU. Iron deficiency anaemia: assessment, prevention, and control. A guide for programme managers. Geneva, World Health Organization; 2001. WHO/ NHD/01.3. Available from: Accessed on: 12.2.2017

Stoltzfus, RJ and Dreyfuss, M. Guidelines for the use of iron supplements to prevent and treat iron deficiency anaemia. in: ILSI Press, Washington; 1998:1-39. Available at: Accessed on 24.12.2016.

Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. NRHM. Government of India. Guidelines for Enhancing Optimal Infant and Young Child Feeding Practices, 2013. Available from: Accessed on: 26.10.2016.

Tiwari S, Bharadva K, Yadav B, Malik S, Gangal P, Banapurmath CR. Infant and Young Child Feeding Guidelines, 2016. Indian Pediatr. 2016;53(8):703-13.

Kumar N, Kishore J, Gupta N. Kuppuswamy′s socioeconomic scale: Updating income ranges for the year 2012. Indian J Pub Health. 2012;56(1):103.

Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. Govt. of India. Guidelines for Control of Anaemia: National Iron Plus Initiative. Available from: Accessed on 17.1.2017

WHO. Serum ferritin concentrations for the assessment of iron status and iron deficiency in populations. Vitamin and Mineral Nutrition Information System. Geneva, World Health Organization,2011 (WHO/NMH/NHD/MNM/11.2). Available from: pdf. Accessed on 25.2.2017.

Worwood M. Indicators of the iron status of population. Annex 2. Page 53. Available from: Accessed on 12.12 2016.

Maguire JL, Salehi L, Birken CS, Carsley S, Mamdani M. Association between total duration of breastfeeding and iron deficiency. Pediatrics; 2013;131(5):e1530-7.

Sultan AN, Zuberi RW. Late weaning: the most significant risk factor in the development of iron deficiency anaemia at 1-2 years of age. J Ayub Med Coll Abbottabad. 2003;15(2):3-7.

Lozoff B, Jimenez E, Smith JB. Double burden of iron deficiency in infancy and low socioeconomic status: a longitudinal analysis of cognitive test scores to age 19 years. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2006;160(11):1108-13.

Sargent JD, Stukel TA, Dalton MA, Freeman JL, Brown MJ. Iron deficiency in Massachusetts communities: Socioeconomic and demographic risk factors among children. Am J Public Health. 1996;86(4):544-50.

Ali NS, Zuberi RW. The relationship of socio-demographic factors with iron deficiency anaemia in children of 1-2 years of age. J Pak Med Assoc. 2001;51(3):130-2.

Zhao A, Zhang Y, Peng Y, Li J, Yang T. Prevalence of anaemia and its risk factors among children 6-36 months old in Burma. Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2012;87(2):306-11.