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Prevalence of Anemia and Its Risk Factors Among Lactating Mothers in Myanmar

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  • Department of Social Medicine and Health Education, School of Public Health, Peking University Health Science Center, Beijing, People's Republic of China; Department of Nutrition and Food Hygiene, School of Public Health, Peking University Health Science Center, Beijing, People's Republic of China; Health Poverty Action Eastern Asia Programme Office, Yunnan, People's Republic of China; Health Poverty Action Eastern Asia Programme, Kachin, Myanmar; School of Basic Medical Sciences, Capital Medical University, Beijing, People's Republic of China

In Myanmar, 60% of the population consists of mothers and children, and they are the groups most vulnerable to anemia. The objectives of this study are to determine (1) the anemia prevalence among lactating women and (2) the risk factors associated with anemia. Convenience sampling was used to select three villages in two different regions (Kachin and Shan) in Myanmar. Hemoglobin and anthropometric indicators were measured for 733 lactating women. Logistic regression analyses were used to determine factors associated with anemia. The anemia prevalence rate was 60.3% in lactating women, with 20.3% of lactating women having severe anemia. Factors of malnutrition (P = 0.026), self-reported symptoms of night blindness or poor dark adaptation (P < 0.001), lack of primary education experience (P < 0.001), low family annual capita income (< 800 MMK; P < 0.001), drinking spring or river water (P < 0.001), and drinking unboiled water (P = 0.016) were associated with anemia. To promote health in lactating women, a comprehensive intervention is needed in these regions.

Author Notes

* Address correspondence to Yumei Zhang, Department of Nutrition and Food Hygiene, School of Public Health, Peking University Health Science Center, Beijing, People's Republic of China. E-mail: zhangyumei111@gmail.com

Authors' addresses: Ai Zhao, Peiyu Wang, and Yong Xue, Department of Social Medicine and Health Education, School of Public Health, Peking University Health Science Center, Beijing, People's Republic of China, E-mails: aizhaobjmu@gmail.com, 506238753@qq.com, and xiaochaai@163.com. Yumei Zhang, Department of Nutrition and Food Hygiene, School of Public Health, Peking University Health Science Center, Beijing, People's Republic of China, E-mail: zhangyumei111@gmail.com. Bo Li, Health Poverty Action Eastern Asia Programme Office, Yunnan, People's Republic of China, E-mail: boli_hu@163.com. Jiayin Li, Health Poverty Action Eastern Asia Programme Office, Karchin, Myanmar, E-mail: jiayin_hu@163.com. Hongchong Gao, Capital Medical University, School of Basic Medical Sciences, Beijing, People's Republic of China, E-mail: sisystone@gmail.com.

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