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Pediatría (Asunción)

On-line version ISSN 1683-9803


GALEANO, Fernando et al. Prevalence of anemia in children aged 1 to 4 years in Asunción and the Central Department, Paraguay, 2017. Pediatr. (Asunción) [online]. 2021, vol.48, n.2, pp.120-126. ISSN 1683-9803.


Children are the group most affected by anemia. In Paraguay there are no updated data on the prevalence of anemia in children under 5 years of age.


To determine the prevalence of anemia in previously healthy children aged 1 to 4 years who presented to health services clinics and nurseries in Asunción and the Central Department, Paraguay, during the year 2017.

Materials and Methods:

This was a prospective, cross-sectional, observational descriptive study. We used random, stratified sampling. Confidence level: 95% Sample error: 5%. Variables: age, sex, hemoglobin, hematometric indices, ferritin, C-reactive protein (CRP), albumin, z Weight / Age, z Weight / Height, z Height / Age, birth weight. Parametric and non-parametric measures, χ2, were analyzed. Anemia was defined by WHO criteria for the 1 to 5 year-old group: Hemoglobin Hb <11 g / dL and Mean Corpuscular Volume MCV <72 fL The Anthro Program v 3.2.2 and SPSS 16.0 were used. The study was approved by the Ethics Committee of the Institute of Tropical Medicine, and informed consent was obtained. Significance level <0.05.


806 patients were recruited. Hgb, MCV and ferritin were determined in 706 patients. 327 (46.3%) were male. The mean Hgb was 11.9 ± 1.03 g / dL. Mean corpuscular volume 71.2 ± 26 fL. 83/706 patients with anemia (11.8%) were found, 44/83 (53%) were microcytic (MCV <72 fL). Negative CRP 640/706 (90.7%) patients. Average albuminemia was 4.5 ± 0.2 g / dL. The mean of z Weight / Age was 0.29 ± 1.33, z Weight / Height -0.38 ± 1.52 and the z Height / Age was 0.92 ± 1.64. Ferritin <12µg / L was 17.6%. No relationship was found between birth weight and anemia [p = 0.11. RR: 1.45 (0.6-2.3)]. The prevalence of anemia in the 12 to 23 month group was 39% vs 6.9% in preschool children (χ2 p <0.05).


The prevalence of anemia in infants from Asunción and the Central Department constitutes a public health problem.

Keywords : anemia; ferritin; children.

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