[Growth and micronutrient deficiencies: profile of children attended at the day care center for the government of Paraiba, Brazil]

Dixis Figueroa Pedraza, Ana Carolina Dantas Rocha, Carolina Pereira da Cunha Sousa
Ciência & Saúde Coletiva 2013, 18 (11): 3379-90
This article seeks to evaluate the growth of children attending public day care centers of the Government of the State of Paraiba and the relative significance of vitamin A, iron and zinc deficiencies. It involved a cross-sectional study of 240 preschool children. The following categories of nutritional status were considered: underweight (W/H < -2 z-scores), stunting (H/A < -2 z-scores) and overweight (W/H > +2 z-scores). Serum concentrations of retinol, zinc and hemoglobin were established to assess vitamin A deficiency (< 0.70 mmol/L), zinc deficiency (< 65 mmol/L) and anemia (< 110 g/L), respectively. The prevalence of stunting was 5.8%, that of overweight 3.8%, and that of underweight 0.4%. W/H z-scores were lower and statistically significant in children aged 12-36 months. An association was also found between W/H z-scores and maternal height. This association was also observed regarding body mass index. H/A z-scores were lower and statistically significant in low birth weight children. Lower hemoglobin concentrations were detected in children aged 12-36 months who were not receiving the financial support of the Bolsa Familia (Family Allowance) program. There was no significant association between vitamin A, iron and zinc deficiencies and the anthropometric indices studied.

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