Effect of weekly rice fortification with iron on anemia prevalence and hemoglobin concentration among children attending public daycare centers in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

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Abstract

This was a double-blind, placebo-controlled, community-based trial. For 16 weeks, children in the intervention group (n = 180) received iron-fortified rice, while children in the control group (n = 174) received rice with placebo. Anemia was defined as hemoglobin < 11.0g/dL. Student's t-test was used to compare mean variation in hemoglobin between the groups. Hemoglobin concentration improved in both groups, with a mean increase of 0.42g/ dL in the intervention group (11.28±1.23g/dL to 11.75±1.16g/dL, p < 0.001), and 0.49g/dL in controls (11.06±1.13g/dL to 11.51±1.16g/ dL, p < 0.001). Anemia decreased (p < 0.01) in both groups (37.8% to 23.3% in the intervention group and 45.4% to 33.3% in controls), with no significant difference between the two. Hemoglobin increase was significantly higher in children that received total iron = 53.76mg from fortified rice, compared to those who received less than this cut-off value (0.94g/dl vs. 0.39g/dl, p = 0.03). The findings suggest that this type of intervention can be useful in anemia control as long as fortified food intake is adequate.

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Bagni, U. V., Baião, M. R., De Souza Santos, M. M. A., Luiz, R. R., & Veiga, G. V. D. (2009). Effect of weekly rice fortification with iron on anemia prevalence and hemoglobin concentration among children attending public daycare centers in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Cadernos de Saude Publica, 25(2), 291–302. https://doi.org/10.1590/s0102-311x2009000200007

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