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Prevalence and risk factor analysis of iron deficiency and iron-deficiency anaemia among female adolescents in the Gaza Strip, Palestine

  • Marwan O Jalambo (a1), Norimah A Karim (a2), Ihab A Naser (a3) and Razinah Sharif (a2) (a4)

The present study aimed to determine the prevalence of anaemia, iron deficiency (ID) and iron-deficiency anaemia (IDA) among female adolescents in the Gaza Strip, Palestine, as well as the risk factors involved in these conditions.


The study was conducted using the quantitative descriptive method with a cross-sectional design. Data were collected using an FFQ and sociodemographic, sedentary behaviour and physical activity questionnaires. Anthropometric measurements and blood analyses were also conducted.


The study population included all Palestinian female adolescents enrolled in secondary schools in the academic years 2015–2016. Five female secondary schools were selected randomly from five governorates of the Gaza Strip.


Female adolescents (n 330) aged 15–19 years in the selected secondary schools were enrolled randomly.


Prevalence of anaemia, ID and IDA among female adolescents in the Gaza Strip, Palestine, was 35·8, 40·3 and 26·0 %, respectively. A significant association (P<0·05) existed between ID, anaemia and IDA and dietary habits, including skipping breakfast and amount of junk food intake. Also, low consumption of fruits and vegetables was associated with IDA in the female adolescents. A statistically significant association was found between mother’s education and ID but not with the other sociodemographic factors.


The study shows that there is an alarming problem of anaemia and IDA in the Gaza Strip, Palestine. This may indicate that there are insufficient nutrition education programmes, particularly inside schools or by the mass media.

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Public Health Nutrition
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