Aim: To estimate the prevalence of infant anaemia and its association with iron deficiency, growth, infection and other micronutrient deficiencies.
Methods: Using data from MINIMat, a randomized maternal food and micronutrient supplementation trial, we assessed the associations between anaemia (haemoglobin < 105 g/L) in 580 infants at 6 months and deficiencies of iron, vitamin A, vitamin B12, zinc and folate, infection and anthropometric indices. Variables associated with anaemia in bivariate analyses were evaluated in logistic regression models, adjusting for potential confounders.
Results: Anaemia was found in 46% of the infants, and among these, 28% had iron deficiency (plasma ferritin <9 μg/L). Elevated C-reactive protein (>10mg/L) (OR = 2.7, 95% CI: 1.6, 4.7), low birthweight (OR = 2.3, 95% CI: 1.5, 3.5) and iron deficiency (OR = 2.2, 95% CI: 1.4, 3.6) were independently associated with increased risk for anaemia. We also observed a seasonal variation in anaemia not mediated through the other factors studied.
Conclusion: In a cohort in rural Bangladesh, anaemia at age 6 months was common and associated with infection, low birthweight and iron deficiency.