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Association of Socioeconomic Status with Childhood Anemia among Infant, Toddler, and Preschool Children in Bangladesh
Authors: G M Rabiul Islam
Source: Value in Health Regional Issues, 21: 141-148; DOI: 10.1016/j.vhri.2019.09.008
Topic(s): Anemia
Child health
Children under five
Country: Asia
  Bangladesh
Published: DEC 2019
Abstract: Objectives: This study aims to delineate the association between economic inequality, along with other confounders, and anemia among infants, toddlers, and preschool children. Methods: From the 2011 Bangladesh Demographic Health Survey, a cross-sectional population sample comprising 2068 children between ages 6 and 59 months were selected for this study. Analyses were performed with a proportional odds model and finally stratified with the child age groups. Results: Infants belonging to a low and medium socioeconomic status (SES) have approximately a 3-fold higher chance of being affected by mild, moderate, or severe anemia compared with infants of high SES (odds ratio [OR] 2.94; 95% CI 1.09-7.91; P=.03 and OR 2.76; 95% CI .87-8.82; P=.08, respectively). Preschool children from low and medium SES households are 2.73× (95% CI 1.20-6.18; P=.02) and 2.47× (95% CI .99-6.14; P=.04) more likely to be anemic compared with their counterparts from higher SES households. The place of residence and childhood stunting are associated with childhood anemia (urban vs rural: OR 1.27; 95% CI .21-.35; P = .04; and stunted vs normal: OR 1.34; 95% CI 1.11-1.63; P = .003). Besides, vitamin A supplementations appear to serve as protective agents against the occurrence of the childhood anemia (OR 1.18; 95% CI .99-1.41; P = .06). Conclusion: Urgent preventive measures are needed to control the impending childhood anemia among infants and preschool children, especially in the low and medium SES households (ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT03126253). Keywords: childhood anemia; infants; preschool children; socioeconomic status; toddlers.