Anemia in young children living in the Surinamese interior: The influence of age, nutritional status and ethnicity

C. W. R. Zijlmans*, A. Stuursma, A. J. Roelofs, B. C. Jubitana, M. S. MacDonald-Ottevanger

*Corresponding author for this work

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    Purpose: This study investigates the prevalence of anemia in young children living in the interior of Suriname and the influence of the associated factors age, nutritional status and ethnicity.

    Patients and methods: In this cross-sectional observational study, 606 children aged 1-5 years from three different regions of Suriname's interior were included, and hemoglobin levels and anthropometric measurements were collected. Logistic regression models were computed to examine independent associations between anemic and nonanemic groups and to measure the influence of age, nutritional status and ethnicity.

    Results: A total of 606 children were included, of whom 330 (55%) were aged 1-3 years and 276 were aged 4-5 years. The overall prevalence of anemia was 63%. Younger age was associated with anemia (odds ratio [OR]= 1.78; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.27-2.51). Anemia was less prevalent in Amerindian than in Maroon children (OR=0.51; 95% CI: 0.34-0.76). Hemoglobin level was not influenced by nutritional status nor by sex.

    Conclusion: The prevalence of anemia in children aged 1-5 years living in Suriname's interior is high (63%) compared to that in similar aged children in Latin America and the Caribbean (4-45%). Children aged 1-3 years were more affected than those aged 4-5 years as were Maroon children compared to Amerindian children. Nutritional status and sex were not of influence.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)21-24
    Number of pages4
    JournalResearch and reports in tropical medicine
    Publication statusPublished - 22-Feb-2017


    • Maroon
    • Amerindian
    • hemoglobin
    • malnutrition
    • stunting
    • younger age

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