In order to determine the trends in haemoglobin (Hb) levels and the prevalence of anaemia in infancy in an entire community, 3,147 infants aged 9-11 months attending the Mother and Child Health Clinics of the teaching and research Health Center in Kiryat Hayovel, Jerusalem, were examined. From 1971 to 1979 infants diagnosed as anaemic were given treatment. From 1980 to 1988 supplement was given to all infants from the age of 3 to 12 months. There was a mean increase of 0.6 g/dl Hb between the two periods, with a larger increase in the Hb levels in 1980-88 as compared to 1971-79 (P = .0001). The prevalence of anaemia < 11 g/dl Hb decreased from 36% in 1971 to 27% in 1979 and to 19% in 1988. The prevalence of anaemic < 10 g/dl Hb decreased from 13.7% in 1971 to 8.7% in 1979 and to 3.6% in 1988. The time trend is probably due to changes in the socio-demographic characteristics of the population, an overall change in infant feeding practices in relation to iron source and the supplementation programme.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health