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Original Research

Megaloblastic anemia in children from Eastern Odisha, India: A clinical and hematological profile analysis

Reshmi Mishra, Mahendra Varma Madduri, Sarbeswar Pradhan.


Background: Anemia can have severe implications on the health of children including motor development, behavioral and cognitive development. Furthermore, morbidity from infectious disease is higher in anemic children. Nutritional anemia is a major concern in rural India.

Aim and Objective: We aimed to observe the percentage of megaloblastic anemia among the anemic children and their clinical and hematological parameters.

Materials and Methods: After obtaining permission from the Institutional Ethics Committee, this cross-sectional study was conducted from September 2018 to August 2021. The setting was a tertiary care hospital in the eastern part of Odisha, India. Children of 1–14 years of age presenting with anemia were included in the study. Details clinical examination and blood tests namely mean corpuscular volume, red blood cell count, total leucocyte count, and platelet count were carried out from venous blood. Descriptive statistical analyses were conducted in STATA software version 15.1.

Results: Among the total 150 anemic patients, the majority (126 [84%]) were in the 11–14 years of age group followed by 24 (16%) in 6–10 years of age (P < 0.0001). Girls were more (94 [62.7%]) than boys (56 [37.3%]), P < 0.0001. Anorexia was the most frequently encountered clinical symptom (99.3%) followed by pallor (94%), weakness (86%), fatigue (62%), and hyperpigmentation (37.4%). According to hemoglobin level, 40% were suffering from severe anemia, 38.7% was having moderate, and 21.3% was having mild anemia. The majority (74%) were having both Vitamin B12 and folic acid deficiency followed by 16.7% Vitamin B12, and 9.3% folic acid deficiency.

Conclusion: Girls were presenting with megaloblastic anemia more than boys. Majority of them were suffering from both Vitamin B12 and folic acid deficiency. Children suffering from megaloblastic anemia present with anorexia, pallor, weakness, and fatigue. A proper health promotion program may be designed to aware the parents about the prevention of nutritional anemia.

Key words: Folic Acid Deficiency; Anorexia; Pallor; Anemia; Vitamin B12; Hemoglobins

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