Relationship of low serum selenium to anemia among primary school children living in rural Vietnam

Nguyen Van Nhien, Nguyen Cong Khan, Tomoki Yabutani, Nguyen Xuan Ninh, Le Thi Kim Chung, Junko Motonaka, Yutaka Nakaya
Journal of Nutritional Science and Vitaminology 2008, 54 (6): 454-9
A cross-sectional study of 292 primary school children was conducted in rural Vietnam to investigate the relationship among micronutrient deficiencies, and other risk factors for anemia. Serum levels of iron, copper, zinc, selenium and magnesium were determined by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry and that of retinol by high performance liquid chromatography. Hemoglobin concentration in whole blood was measured by the cyanmethemoglobin method. The incidence of low serum zinc, selenium, magnesium, and copper in the children was 91.4, 75.6, 59.5, and 8.6%, respectively. Forty-five percent of the children were anemic and 11.3% suffered from vitamin A deficiency. A parameter significant associated with anemia was low serum selenium and vice versa (OR 1.85, 95% CI 1.06-3.24, p<0.05). Other factors associated with anemia were serum retinol <1.05 micromol/L (OR 2.05, 95% CI 1.25-3.36, p<0.01), and age in years (OR 1.59, 95% CI 1.16-2.18, p<0.01). The study showed that low selenium is associated with anemia among school children in Vietnam. Interventions are required to gain insight into the potential role of selenium on prevention and control of anemia.

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