Background: About 24.8% of world population is affected by anemia. Because of low monthly income and more incidences of communicable and noncommunicable diseases, the prevalence and severity of anemia is higher in developing countries. Children and pregnant women are the most vulnerable groups to anemia. The brain, which is the fastest developing organ in infancy and early childhood, is the most affected organ and children as they are developing as well are the most affected age group.
Objective: To determine the magnitude of severe anemia and its socioeconomic, nutritional, and biological risk factors among children aged below 5 years who visited GK General Hospital (GH), Gujarat Adani Institute of Medical Sciences, Bhuj, Gujarat, India, from November 2014 to November 2015.
Materials and Methods: A total number of 100 children aged below 5 years attending pediatric clinic at GKGH with hemoglobin level of 7 g/dL and below were included in this study. Detailed history and thorough clinical examination was done for each case. This was followed by investigations such as complete blood count with red cell indices, peripheral blood film smear, erythrocyte sedimentation rate, serum iron, total iron binding capacity, and serum ferritin.
Result: A total of 3,000 children had participated in the study. The overall prevalence of severe anemia was 100 (3.33%). Education and occupation of both father and mother are significantly associated with childrens anemia. Low consumption of all the three foodstuffs was significantly associated with anemia, with vegetable showing the highest OR of 6.49. Intestinal parasitic infection is also significantly associated with anemia with OR of 6.4.
Conclusion: Severe anemia in children aged below 5 years of age is more prevalent in children of multigravida mother, low education of parents, and low socioeconomic status of family. Anemia was more common among children who consumed low dairy products and fruits and vegetables with intestinal parasitic infection.
Key words: Clinicopathological, severe anemia, children below 5 years, Kutch