Anaemia and vitamin A status among adolescent schoolboys in Dhaka City, Bangladesh
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Objectives: To investigate the prevalence of anaemia and subclinical vitamin A deficiency among adolescent schoolboys in Dhaka City, Bangladesh, and to identify factors related to anaemia and vitamin A status. Design: A cross-sectional study. Setting: Government high schools in Dhaka City, Bangladesh. Subjects and methods: A total of 381 boys, aged 11-16 years, from10 schools in Dhaka City participated in the study. Socio-economic, anthropometric and dietary data were collected.Haemoglobin and serumretinol (vitamin A) concentrations were determined. Results: Seven per cent of the boys were anaemic and 22% had serum vitamin A levels below the adequate level of 1.05mmol l21, with only 1.5% having subclinical vitamin A deficiency (,0.70mmol l21). Food frequency data revealed poor dietary habits.Multiple regression analysis showed that age, bodymass index (BMI), parents' occupation, serum vitamin A level and frequency of intakes of meat and fruit were significantly independently related to haemoglobin level. The overall F-ratio (13.1) was highly significant (P , 0.000) and the adjusted R 2 was 0.192. For serumvitamin A, BMI, father's education, per capita expenditure on food, haemoglobin concentration and frequency of intake of vitaminA-rich fruitwere found to be significantly independently related. The overall F-ratio (14.5) was highly significant (P , 0.000) and the adjusted R 2 was 0.186. Conclusion: The data showthat adolescent schoolboys in Dhaka City have anaemia and inadequate vitamin A status, although the extent of the problems is lower than in other population groups in the country. Sociodemographic and dietary factors appear to have important relationships with anaemia and vitamin A status of these boys.
Public Health Nutrition
Medical and Health Sciences not elsewhere classified