Iron deficiency anemia among Jewish and Arab infants at 6 and 12 months of age in Hadera, Israel.Isr J Med Sci 1985; 21(2):107-12IJ
Infants attending six Family Health Centers of the Israel Ministry of Health in various Jewish and Arab localities in the Hadera subdistrict were examined for hemoglobin levels at 6 and 12 months of age. The prevalence of anemia (hemoglobin less than 11 g/dl) among Jewish infants rose from a total of 44.7 to 60% from 6 to 12 months. For the Arab infants, the prevalence of anemia increased from a total of 43.7% at 6 months to 71.0% at 12. The prevalence of severe anemia (less than 10 g/dl) for the Jewish infants rose from 4.5 to 13.1% and for the Arab infants from 7.7 to 19.6%. Of the Jewish infants with a hemoglobin level less than 10 g/dl at 6 months, 50% were still less than 10 g/dl at 12 months. Of the Arab infants less than 10 g/dl at 6 months, 36.4% were still at that level at 12 months. The lack of routine iron supplementation as a preventive procedure and the routine use of cow's milk for infant feeding are the probable causes of this high prevalence of iron deficiency anemia.