Prevalence of anemia and associated factors in women of childbearing age in rural Lebanon
This community-based, cross-sectional survey was conducted to determine the prevalence of anemia and iron deficiency anemia (IDA) and their association with nutritional behavior and other determinants.
Subjects and methods
Arabic-speaking women, aged 15–49 years old, residing in Lebanon’s rural areas were included. Demographic and behavioral characteristics, obstetrical and gynecological history, personal and family medical history, and dietary intake data were collected. Predictors of anemia and IDA were determined using logistic regression.
A total of 578 women were included (Lebanese: 55.2%; Syrian: 43.3%) in which 35.5% had anemia and 23.2% had IDA. The mean number of pregnancies was 3.1 ± 3.0 (number of children: 2.5 ± 2.5). In total, 30% had a personal history of anemia or IDA, 29% a family history of anemia, and 20% a family history of IDA. Iron-rich products were consumed by > 90% of the women, whereby > 66.7% mentioned eating liver, tuna, dates and nuts. Syrian nationality (OR = 2.21; CI 95%: 1.38–3.54), age (OR = 1.03, CI 95%: 1.00–1.06), personal history of anemia (OR = 1.97; CI 95%: 1.31–2.95), consumption of dates (OR = 2.07, CI 95%: 1.29–3.31), molasses (OR = 1.61; CI 95%: 1.03–2.51), and soft drinks > 5 times/week (OR = 1.66; CI 95%: 1.09–2.53) were predictors of anemia. Syrian nationality (OR = 1.73, CI 95%: 1.14–2.62), number of pregnancies (OR = 1.08; CI 95%: 1.01–1.15), period > 8 days (OR = 2.01, CI 95%: 1.07–3.80), consumption of eggs (OR = 0.48; CI 95%: 0.25–0.90), dates (OR = 2.58, CI 95%: 1.49–4.46), and coffee or tea (OR = 1.59, CI 95%: 1.03–2.45) were predictors of IDA.
Anemia and IDA are prevalent in women of childbearing age in rural Lebanon. Intervention programs for raising the population’s awareness about IDA’s risk factors and proper nutrition must be implemented.
KeywordsAnemia Diet Iron deficiency Lebanon Refugees
This study was funded by the World Health Organization, Beirut, Lebanon—WHO reference: L/WR/LEB/07/004; WHO registration: 2015/519330–1; Reg file unit reference: EM-LEB-2015-APW-081.
Compliance with ethical standards
All procedures performed in this study involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the Ethical Committee of Saint-Joseph University, Beirut, and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
Conflict of interests
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
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