Iron status of Asian children aged 2 years living in England
- Ms M Lawson, Childhood Nutrition Research Centre, Institute of Child Health, 30 Guildford Street, London WC1N 1EH, UK.
- Accepted 24 December 1997
Haemoglobin and ferritin values were analysed in blood from 1057 children, aged 2 years, of Asian parents living in England. Children who had thalassaemia trait or a current/recent infection were excluded. Twenty nine per cent of Pakistani, 25% of Bangladeshi, and 20% of Indian children had haemoglobin < 110.0 g/l. The recent national diet and nutrition survey of preschool children found a prevalence of 12% of 2 year olds with haemoglobin < 110.0 g/l. No single factor accounted for more than a small proportion of the variance in haemoglobin and ferritin values, but the most significant factors that had a negative effect on iron status included the amount of cows’ milk consumed, the use of a baby bottle, and mother’s place of birth being outside of the UK. Taking vitamin or iron supplements was positively associated with iron status in one or more of the three groups.
We thank Diana Muggleston (haematology department, Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children) and Vivienne Avery (Office for National Statistics) for their contribution to the study. The study was funded by the Department of Health, whose staff also provided support. The study would not have been possible without the help of colleagues in the Social Survey Division of the Office for National Statistics, the interviewers, phlebotomists, and especially the families who participated in the study.