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The relationships among iron supplement use, Hb concentration and linear growth in young children: Ethiopian Demographic and Health Survey

  • Shimels Hussien Mohammed (a1) and Ahmad Esmaillzadeh (a2) (a3) (a4)

Abstract

Growth faltering and anaemia remain unacceptably high among infants and young children in Ethiopia. In this study, we investigated the relationships among Fe supplement use (ISU), Hb concentration and linear growth, hypothesising positive relationships between ISU and Hb, ISU and linear growth and Hb and linear growth. We used a nationally representative data of 2400 children aged 6–24 months from the Ethiopian Demographic and Health Survey (EDHS) 2011, conducted following a stratified, two-stage cluster sampling. We examined the links by Pearson’s correlation, bivariate and multivariate linear regression analyses and reported adjusted estimates. We found that ISU was not significantly associated with either Hb (β=1·09; 95 % CI −2·73, 5·01, P=0·567) or linear growth (β=0·07; 95 % CI −0·06, 0·21, P=0·217). We found a positive, however, weak, correlation between Hb and linear growth (r 0·09; 95 % CI 0·06, 0·11, P<0·001). Hb predicted linear growth independent of a variety dietary and non-dietary factors (β=0·08; 95 % CI 0·04, 0·11, P<0·001). Although not the primary focus of the study, our analysis showed that age and breast-feeding duration were independently associated with Hb; age, birth type, size at birth, sex, breast-feeding duration, dietary diversity and deworming were independently associated with linear growth, indicating that Hb and linear growth are multifactorial with both nutritional and non-nutritional factors implicated. Further studies, with better design and exposure assessment, are warranted on the relation of ISU with Hb or linear growth.

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Corresponding author

* Corresponding author: Professor A. Esmaillzadeh, email a-esmaillzadeh@tums.ac.ir, a.esmaillzadeh@gmail.com

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British Journal of Nutrition
  • ISSN: 0007-1145
  • EISSN: 1475-2662
  • URL: /core/journals/british-journal-of-nutrition
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