The objective of the study was to identify risk factors of infant anemia and to assess a new indirect method to identify the risks of anemia using a probability curve based on dietary iron density and weight gain rate.
A cross-sectional study was conducted on 110 term infants in a public health unit in Goiania, Brazil. A socioeconomic, demographic, anthropometric survey and dietary assessment were performed. Hemoglobin, red blood cell distribution width (RDW), ferritin, and C-reactive protein were determined.
The risk factors identified by final adjusted logistic regression were male infants (OR = 2.38), infants whose mothers were housewives (OR = 5.01), and households with more than three members (OR = 3.08). Another risk factor was the introduction of meat after 6 months (OR = 3.3). There was a positive dose-response effect between milk consumption and prevalence of anemia adjusted for sex and age (Effect = 0.120; 95% CI: 0.015, 0.225). Dietary iron density (from 6 to 9 months) and weight gain rate (from 9 to 12 months) significantly affected the probability of the infant having anemia.
The probability curve for anemia obtained from dietary iron density and weight gain rate can be used to identify the risks of anemia, and together with the risk factors identified are important for anemia prevention programs.