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Continuation of Decline in Prevalence of Anemia in Low-Income Children:  The Vermont Experience

Bettylou Sherry, PhD, RD; Donna Bister; Ray Yip, MD, MPH
Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 1997;151(9):928-930. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1997.02170460066011.
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Objective:  To examine whether the prevalence of childhood anemia in white low-income children has continued to decline into the 1990s.

Design:  An examination of 14 years of hematocrit data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Pediatric Nutrition Surveillance System in Vermont from 1981 through 1994.

Setting:  Public health clinics for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children in Vermont. The same screening method and criteria for identifying and defining anemia and the same quality-assurance procedures were used during the 14 years. The program eligibility criteria were also consistent except for part of 1991 and 1992.

Main Outcome Measure:  The annual prevalence of anemia.

Results:  Between 1981 and 1994, the prevalence of anemia halved (from 7.9% to 3.6%, P<.001). For children aged 6 to 24 months, this decline was from 7.8% to 4.6% (P<.001); for children aged 2 to 5 years, the decline was from 7.9% to 3.1% (P<.001).

Conclusion:  The decline in the prevalence of anemia among low-income children observed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Pediatric Nutrition Surveillance System up to the mid-1980s has continued into the 1990s in Vermont. This finding indicates that iron nutrition in infancy and early childhood is still improving.Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 1997;151:928-930


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