Anaemia in infants: Is it always an ‘iron clad’ issue? An observational study

Lutfi Jaber*, Gary Diamond

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


In this chapter we examine characteristics of anaemia among infants, 9- 18 months of age. Design: Comparison of trends in the characterization of anaemia in infants during the years 2002 to 2012. Setting: The comprehensive database of Clalit Health Services (CHS) for infants, divided along ethnic and religious lines. Patients: Universal screening of all infants, 9-18 months old, in the Sharon Shomron (SS) district of the CHS. Main outcome measure: Prevalence of iron deficiency anaemia (IDA). Results: Between 2002 and 2012 there was a marked decrease in IDA prevalence. Among the Jewish population, the overall IDA prevalence rate dropped from 4.5% in 2002 to approximately 1.7% in 2012. The drop in prevalence was steeper in the Arab sector, where the rate plummeted from 7.0% to 2.5%. The IDA prevalence dropped by gender across ethno-religious groups from 8.8% to 3.2% for males, and 3.7% to 1.1% for females. When comparing the prevalence of anaemia by location, Pediatric Care Centers achieved greater gains against IDA than General Family Medicine Clinics. Conclusion: Mild IDA continues to exist among otherwise healthy infants, with significant declines for the 10 year period studied, with the steepest decline in the Arab community. Discrepancies remain along urban vs. rural lines. Prevention and early treatment of ID remain a priority for the child health services. IDA measures do not always reflect the true state of iron metabolism in the growing child, and added indices are proposed to better reflect the child’s status.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationChildhood and Adolescence
Subtitle of host publicationTribute to Emanuel Chigier, 1928-2017
PublisherNova Science Publishers, Inc.
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9781536135756
ISBN (Print)9781536135749
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2018


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