Volume 97, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



Anemia is a worldwide public health concern especially in preschool children in developing countries and iron deficiency (ID) is generally assumed to cause at least 50% of the cases. However, data on this contribution are scarce. To close this gap, we determined in 2013 the contribution of ID in the etiology of anemia and measured others factors associated to noniron deficiency anemia (NIDA) in 900 preschool children randomly selected during a two-stage cluster nutritional survey in the Miti-Murhesa health zone, in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo. In these children, we collected sociodemographic, clinical, and biological parameters and determined the nutritional status according to the World Health Organization 2006 standards. Anemia was defined as altitude-adjusted hemoglobin < 110 g/L and ID was defined as serum ferritin < 12 μg/L or < 30 μg/L in the absence or presence of inflammation, respectively. Median (interquartile range) age was 29.4 (12–45) months. The prevalence of anemia was 46.6% (391/838) among whom only 16.5% (62/377) had ID. Among children without signs of inflammation, only 4.4% (11/251) met the ferritin-based (unadjusted) definition of ID. Logistic regression analysis identified ID, history of fever during the last 2 weeks and mid-upper arm circumference < 125 mm as the only independent factors associated to anemia. In conclusion, anemia is a severe public health problem in the Miti-Murhesa health zone, but NIDA is mostly predominant and needs to be further studied. Control of infections and prevention of acute undernutrition (wasting) are some of appropriate interventions to reduce the burden anemia in this region.


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  • Received : 12 Jan 2017
  • Accepted : 15 Mar 2017
  • Published online : 22 May 2017

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