Worldwide burden of ID estimated to be 43% globally in 2011 and about 70% in Central and West Africa and 7-9% of USA children ages 1-3 years have iron deficiency (ID). Countries in high caloric nutrition switch have a high prevalence of overweight and obesity, a moderate prevalence of undernutrition and micronutrient deficiencies. Infants and children must obtain 30% of their daily iron from their diet to provide the necessary iron for new muscle cells and RBCs.
259 infants visited child health family medicine clinic Hatta Hospital, UAE for 12 months assessment and vaccination from April 2014 to January 2015. Anemia was defined as per World health organization (hemoglobin ≤ 11 gm/dl).
Anemia was found in 99 infants (38.2%), Iron deficiency anemia in 60 (23.2%), thalassemia trait in 12 (4.6%), normocytic anemia in 27 (10.4%) and iron deficiency in 57 (22%). Mild anemia was found 41 infants (61.3%, p value 0.000) in iron deficiency anemia.
Serum iron 49 infants (81.7%, p value 0.000), high RDW 52 (86.7%, p value 0.000), Mentzer index 54 (90%, p value 0.000) and Srivastav index (50%, p value 0.000) significantly detect iron deficiency anemia.
Iron deficiency anemia (23%) in this population are consistent with other reports from region but higher than developed countries. Serum iron, high RDW, Mentzer and Srivastav index were significant in detecting iron deficiency anemia in this study. Microcytosis in the study population apart from iron deficiency anemia could be attributed to alpha thalassemia trait in this population.