Volume 90, Issue 5
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



To determine the association between a range of inherited blood disorders and indicators of poor nutrition, we analyzed data from a population-based, cross-sectional survey of 882 children 6–35 months of age in western Kenya. Of children with valid measurements, 71.7% were anemic (hemoglobin < 11 g/dL), 19.1% had ferritin levels < 12 μg/L, and 30.9% had retinol binding protein (RBP) levels < 0.7 μmol/L. Unadjusted analyses showed that compared with normal children, homozygous α-thalassemia individuals had a higher prevalence of anemia (82.3% versus 66.8%, = 0.001), but a lower prevalence of low RBP (20.5% versus 31.4%, = 0.024). In multivariable analysis, homozygous α-thalassemia remained associated with anemia (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] = 1.8, = 0.004) but not with low RBP (aOR = 0.6, = 0.065). Among young Kenyan children, α-thalassemia is associated with anemia, whereas G6PD deficiency, haptoglobin 2-2, and HbS are not; none of these blood disorders are associated with iron deficiency, vitamin A deficiency, or poor growth.

[open-access] This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene's Re-use License which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


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  • Received : 27 Aug 2013
  • Accepted : 23 Jan 2014

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