Iron status and iron deficiency anaemia in adolescents in a Tanzanian suburban area.Gynecol Obstet Invest. 2002; 54(3):137-44.GO
To assess the extent and degree of anaemia in adolescents in a Tanzanian suburban area, to estimate the contribution of iron deficiency, using serum (S)-ferritin and soluble transferrin receptor (sTfR) as markers of iron deficiency.
Consecutive primigravidae at booking for antenatal care (n = 76), primary school boys (n = 101) and postmenarchal girls (n = 130) age >or=12 years were investigated.
Weight and height were measured; venous blood was drawn for haematological analyses, malaria screening, S-ferritin, sTfR, and C-reactive protein. Stool specimens were analysed for intestinal parasites.
Anaemia (Hb <105 g/l) was highly prevalent in adolescent primigravidae (75.5%). Adolescent girls were more anaemic (Hb <120 g/l) than boys (14.5 vs. 7.9%). Iron deficiency and hookworm infestation were predominant in both groups of adolescents, however, malaria contributed more to anaemia in the primigravidae. Nearly 40% of the anaemic primigravidae had indication of infection, and S-ferritin was less useful as a marker of iron deficiency in this group. sTfR identified iron deficiency in both pregnant and non-pregnant adolescents.