Micronutrient status, concurrent deficiencies, and use of the national supplementation program amongst infants 6-18 months in Iran
Objective: Micronutrient deficiencies among young Iranian children continue to be prevalent despite the implementation of a national supplementation program. We determined associations between the prevalence of iron, zinc, vitamin A and vitamin D deficiencies among Iranian infants with supplementation patterns and socio-economic factors to assess what factors may contribute to this continued prevalence.
Design: Mean serum concentrations of ferritin, transferrin receptor (S-TfR), zinc, retinol and vitamin D and the prevalence of micronutrient deficiencies were determined among 364 children 6-18 months of age recruited from Health Centres in Hashtgerd, Iran in 2007. Associations between deficiencies and child gender, birth order and household socio-economic characteristics as well as supplementation patterns were determined using chi-square tests.
Results: Approximately 39.3 percent of infants were anaemic, 23.1 percent were iron deficient (ID) and 38 percent were zinc deficient while 3.3 and 1.4 percent of infants were marginally vitamin A deficient (VAD) and vitamin D deficient (VDD), respectively. Mean zinc concentrations were greater among iron-deficient infants compared to non iron deficient infants. A greater proportion of ID was found among children who were not supplemented with iron, vitamin A, or vitamin D compared to supplemented children while marginal VDD is more prevalent in the group not receiving zinc supplements.
Conclusions: These findings emphasize the importance of assessing new forms of supplement which combine multiple micronutrients into a single delivery mechanism. Such supplements may more effectively reduce micronutrient deficiencies among young Iranian children.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.