Analysis of repeated hemoglobin measures in full-term, normal birth weight Kenyan children between birth and four years of age. III. The Asemobo Bay Cohort Project.

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  • 1 Division of Parasitic Diseases, National Center for Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia, USA.
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Anemia is an important public health problem. During very early childhood numerous factors affect hemoglobin (Hb) concentration over time, making single cross-sectional measurements difficult to interpret when studying the natural history of anemia or evaluating anemia control strategies. We analyzed repeated Hb measures contributed by 942 Kenyan children between birth and 48 months of life using a mixed effects model, with a regression spline used to describe the population mean Hb profile, and random intercepts and slopes and first-order autoregressive correlation structure to accommodate the within-individual correlation among the repeated Hb measures. The approach facilitates the study of time-stationary and time-varying covariates that influence Hb in early life. The fitted mean Hb profile obtained from the analytic model is consistent with the observed mean Hb of the study population. Village of residence was associated with greatest difference in mean Hb at time of birth (16 versus 19 g/dL; P < 0.0001). Monthly weight-for-age was also associated with mean Hb after 3 months of age. This is the first description of an analysis strategy specifically for repeated Hb measures collected in a longitudinal field study in Africa. The strategy will facilitate improved study of time-varying covariates thought to influence pediatric anemia.