Backgroud: Anemia is the most commonly seen hematological disease in children. The WHO has estimated that globally, 1.62 billion people are anemic, with the highest prevalence of anemia (47.4%) among preschool-aged children; of these 293 million children, 89 million live in India. This study, was conducted to evaluate the factors causing anaemia in children aged between 6 months to 5 years of age and its prevalence within this age group.
Methods: This study is a prospective observational study conducted in KIMS Hospital, Bengaluru, Karnataka. A total of 200 children in the age group of 6 months to 5 years with features of anemia or having Hb < 11gm/dl were included in the study for a duration of 18 months between January 2019 to June 2020. Detailed history was recorded and examination findings were noted. The data collected was tabulated and statistically analysed accordingly.
Results: From a study sample of 200 children, 57.5% of the children with anemia fell between the age group of 6 months to 2 years and 42.5 % children were in the age groups of 2 to 5 years. A greater male predominance was seen (61%) with male to female ratio of approximately 1.56: 1. Most of the children were found to have mild (46%) and moderate anemia (46%) with only a minority (8%) presenting with severe anemia. 56.5% of the children had a normal nutritional status while 41 % were malnourished and 2.5% had both wasting and stunting. Exclusive breastfeeding (for 6 months) history was present in 59% of the children. These children belonged mostly to the upper lower (45%) and lower middle (41%) socioeconomic status. This study also showed anemia in children most commonly presented majorly with concurrent involvement of the respiratory system (31%), followed by infectious diseases (30%) and gastrointestinal (23%).
Conclusion: Our study helps to come to the conclusion that iron deficiency anemia is a multifactorial hematological disease. By learning about the predisposing risk factors, we can take the necessary precautions to prevent anemia in these children. In some ways which we can help to prevent anemia would be to improve the nutritional status of the child by involving parents and counselling them regarding important feeding practices.