Micronutrient Deficiencies, Over- and Undernutrition, and Their Contribution to Anemia in Azerbaijani Preschool Children and Non-Pregnant Women of Reproductive Age.Nutrients 2018; 10(10)N
Data on the nutritional situation and prevalence of micronutrient deficiencies in Azerbaijan are scarce, and knowledge about anemia risk factors is needed for national and regional policymakers. A nationally representative cross-sectional survey was conducted to assess the prevalence of micronutrient deficiencies, over- and undernutrition, and to disentangle determinants of anemia in children and women in Azerbaijan. The survey generated estimates of micronutrient deficiency and growth indicators for children aged 0⁻59 months of age (6⁻59 months for blood biomarkers) and non-pregnant women 15⁻49 years of age. Questionnaire data, anthropometric measurements, and blood samples were collected to assess the prevalence of under- and over-nutrition, anemia, iron deficiency, and iron deficiency anemia, in both groups. In children only, vitamin A deficiency and zinc deficiency were also assessed. In women only, folate and vitamin B12 deficiencies and vitamin A insufficiency were assessed. In total, 3926 household interviews were successfully completed with a response rate of 80.6%. In the 1455 children, infant and young child feeding practices were relatively poor overall; the prevalence of wasting and stunting were 3.1% and 18.0%, respectively; and 14.1% of children were overweight or obese. The prevalence of anemia was 24.2% in 6⁻59 months old children, the prevalence of iron deficiency was 15.0% in this age group, and the prevalence of iron deficiency anemia was 6.5%. Vitamin A deficiency was found in 8.0% of children, and zinc deficiency was found in 10.7%. Data from 3089 non-pregnant women 15⁻49 years of age showed that while undernutrition was scarce, 53% were overweight or obese, with increasing prevalence with increasing age. Anemia affected 38.2% of the women, iron deficiency 34.1% and iron deficiency anemia 23.8%. Vitamin A insufficiency was found in 10.5% of women. Folate and vitamin B12 deficiency were somewhat more common, with prevalence rates of 35.0% and 19.7%, respectively. The main risk factors for anemia in children were recent lower respiratory infection, inflammation and iron deficiency. In women, the main risk factors for anemia were iron deficiency and vitamin A insufficiency. Anemia is a public health problem in Azerbaijani children and women, and additional efforts are needed to reduce anemia in both groups.