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Iron deficiency anemia as a risk factor for pneumonia in children: a hospital beased study

Author: 
Dr. Sujit Nath Choudhary and Dr. Bajesh Kumar
Subject Area: 
Health Sciences
Abstract: 

Background: Pneumonia is the most common single cause of death among children under 5 years of age in the developing countries, Pneumonia accounts for 16% of all deaths of children under that age, killing 920136 children in 2015. Anemia prevalence in young children continues to remain over 70% in most parts of India and Asia despite a policy being in place and a program that has been initiated for a long time. The major health consequences of anemia include physical and cognitive impairment, as well as increased morbidity and mortality related to infection. Aims and objectives • To assess Iron deficiency anemia (IDA) as a risk factor for pneumonia. • To know the association between IDA and pneumonia in children. Methods: This case control study was conducted in Department of Pediatrics in Silchar Medical College and Hospital, Silchar during the period of one year from July 2016 to June 2017. A total of 100 children aging between 6 months-60 months were selected and grouped into 50 cases which were hospitalized for pneumonia (28 (56%) male and 22 (44%) female) and 50 healthy controls (29 (58%) male and 21 (42%) female) without any respiratory problems, attended Out Patient Department. After taking an informed verbal consent from the parents, children were subjected to medical history taking, clinical examination and complete blood count was done, Serum Iron, serum ferritin, and total iron biding capacity were done among children with hemoglobin less than 11 g/dl. Chest radiography was also done for hospitalized cases for pneumonia. Results: Anemia, particularly IDA, was significantly more frequent among cases than controls groups (p<0.001). Hemoglobin level was significantly lower in the IDA patients than in the IDA controls (P=0.02), Anemia was a risk factor for childhood pneumonia (P<0.001, odds ratio 6.8, and confidence interval 2.73-17.09) and recurrent chest infection (P<0.001, odds ratio 10.48, and confidence interval 3.59-30.56). Conclusions: Anemia, particularly IDA in children associated with pneumonia was significant. Prevention, early and accurate diagnosis and prompt treatment of anemia are necessary for a better outcome.

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