The micronutrient status of children aged 24-60 months living in rural disaster areas one year after the Wenchuan Earthquake

Caixia Dong, Pengfei Ge, Xiaolan Ren, Xianfeng Zhao, Jie Wang, Haoqiang Fan, Shi-an Yin
PloS One 2014, 9 (2): e88444

OBJECTIVE: In order to evaluate micronutrient status of children aged 24-60 months living in rural disaster areas after one year of the earthquake in Wenchuan.

DESIGN: After one year of Wenchuan Earthquake, using PPS sampling methods, a total of 270 children from six-randomized townships near seismic center, in each township sample size consisted of 30 to 50 children, were sampled for evaluating Z-score of children's growth status, anemia prevalence, vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin B12, folic acid status. Final sample consisted of 152 boys and 118 girls, and blood samples were drawn from 206 children.

RESULTS: The stunting (HAZ<2SD) and wasting (WHZ<2SD) were respectively 14.7% and 0.7%. Prevalence of anemia was 17.3% and percentage of iron deficiency was 45.7%. The prevalence of vitamin A deficiency and marginal deficiency was 15.4% and 30.3%, respectively. The sum of vitamin D deficiency and marginal deficiency was near 90%. Percentages of Zinc deficiency including marginal and deficiency were 65.5%. Percentages of vitamin B12 marginal and deficiency were 8.6% and 10.6% and the prevalence of marginal deficiency was significantly higher in boys than in girls. Folic acid deficiency was not found in surveyed children using serum folic acid level <16.9 ng/ml.

CONCLUSION: In areas affected by Earthquake, preschool children had higher stunting prevalence and a relatively higher prevalence suffered from micronutrient deficiencies, including iron-deficiency anemia, and deficiencies of iron, zinc, vitamin A and vitamin B12.

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