Iron deficiency and anaemia in a longitudinal study of New Zealanders at ages 11 and 21 years.N Z Med J. 1998 Oct 23; 111(1076):400-2.NZ
To determine iron status in a longitudinal study of New Zealanders, the Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Development Study (DMHDS), at ages 11 (1983-4) and 21 (1993-4).
Red cell variables were measured in 553 (298 males, 255 females) and 784 (413 males, 371 females) members of the DMHDS at ages 11 and 21, respectively. A total of 456 (259 males, 197 females) members were tested at both ages. Serum ferritin was measured at age 21 only.
The prevalence of anaemia in females (haemoglobin < 120 g/L) increased from 3.1% at age 11 to 5.8% at age 21 (pregnant women excluded). There was a significant association between low haemoglobin at age 11 and low haemoglobin at age 21. In males, prevalence of anaemia decreased from 2.3% at age 11 to 0.97% (haemoglobin < 130 g/L) at age 21. The prevalence of iron deficiency (ferritin < 12 ng/mL) at age 21 was 0.24% in men and 6.7% in women. The prevalence of iron deficiency with anaemia at age 21 was zero in men and 2.2% in women.
The prevalences of anaemia and iron deficiency in the DMHDS appear to be low by comparison with similar populations in other countries. Anaemia appears to be a stable trait in young women and screening may be useful for its early detection.