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Micronutrients deficiency and associated socio-demographic factors in Chinese children 
 
Micronutrients deficiency and associated socio-demographic factors in Chinese children
  Jianghong Liu, Yue-Xian Ai, Alexandra Hanlon, Zumin Shi, Barbra Dickerman, Charlene Compher
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Jianghong Liu, Yue-Xian Ai, Alexandra Hanlon, Zumin Shi, Barbra Dickerman, Charlene Compher

Philadelphia, USA

Author Affiliations: University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, 418 Curie Blvd., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104, USA (Liu J, Hanlon A, Dickerman B, Compher C);  Jintan People's Hospital, Jintan, Changzhou, China (Ai YX); Discipline of Medicine, University of Adelaide, 122 Frome Street, Adelaide SA 5005, Australia (Shi Z)

Corresponding Author: Jianghong Liu, PhD, University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, 418 Curie Blvd., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104, USA (Tel: (215) 573-7492; Email: jhliu@nursing.upenn.edu)

Background: Although the prevalence of malnutrition has decreased, micronutrient deficiency still exists among children. While iron level has been studied, limited information on serum levels of zinc in Chinese children is available. This study aims to describe the status of micronutrients and its association with sociodemographic factors, and to assess associated risk factors.

Methods: A cross-sectional study was performed on 1375 Chinese preschool children. Venous blood samples were collected and analyzed for zinc and iron by atomic absorption spectrophotometry. Sociodemographic information was obtained from self-administered questionnaires given to the parents.

Results: The high prevalence of low serum zinc (38.2%) and iron (24.3%) was found. Children from rural preschools had the lowest zinc levels, whereas those from urban preschools had the lowest iron levels. Children living in small houses had the highest prevalence of low serum zinc (47.1%), and children from small families (¡Ü3 persons) had a higher prevalence of low serum zinc than those from large families (41.8% vs. 34.1%).

Conclusions: Our findings in the recent socioeconomic development of China suggest the need for continuous monitoring of nutritional factors and highlight the importance of public health implication in preschool children even in developed regions.

Key words: iron; micronutrient deficiency; socio-demographic factors; zinc

                   World J Pediatr 2011;7(3):217-223

 
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