Influence of dietary and socio-demographic factors on the iron status of married adolescent girls from Indian urban slums.Int J Food Sci Nutr. 2009; 60(1):51-9.IJ
To explore the influence of dietary factors of iron bioavailability and socio-demographic conditions on blood iron status of married adolescent girls (MAG), a cross-sectional study was conducted in 173 MAG (15-19 years old) from urban slums near Pune city, India. Diet was assessed by two random 24-h recalls. The age, weight, height, education, family size, income, physical work, and number of days of menstrual loss were recorded. Fasting blood was analyzed for hemoglobin and serum ferritin. Mean intakes of micronutrients were 40-75% less than the recommended dietary intakes for Indian adolescent girls. High intake of phytates (171+/-6 mg/day) and low intakes of vitamin C (25+/-1 mg/day) resulted in low bioavailable iron intakes. The mean bioavailable iron intake was 0.76+/-0.3 mg/day, which is one-half of the basal iron requirement of adolescent girls. The prevalence of iron deficiency (serum ferritin<12 microg/l) was 25.1%, and anemia (hemoglobin <12 g/l) was seen in 46.4% of MAG. A multiple regression model adjusted for energy intake indicated that intakes of beta-carotene and riboflavin were associated with hemoglobin (P<0.001) and those of zinc, riboflavin and thiamin associated with serum ferritin (P<0.01). Multiple regressions including socio-demographic factors revealed that the family size, number of menstrual days lost and total bioavailable iron intake were the influencing factors for low iron status. In conclusion, there is a need to increase intakes of vitamin C and other micronutrients of the MAGs and to improve iron bioavailability through diet modifications.