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Iron deficiency anemia: higher prevalence in Mexican American than in non-Hispanic white females in the third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 1988-1994



Iron deficiency anemia: higher prevalence in Mexican American than in non-Hispanic white females in the third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 1988-1994



American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 72(4): 963-968



Background: Mexican American females have a higher prevalence of iron deficiency than do non-Hispanic white females. Objective: The objective was to estimate the prevalence of iron deficiency anemia and examine potential reasons for this difference between Mexican American (n = 1194) and non-Hispanic white (n = 1183) females aged 12-39 y. Design: We used data from the third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (1988-1994). Iron deficiency anemia was defined as abnormal results from gtoreq 2 of 3 tests (erythrocyte protoporphyrin, transferrin saturation, and serum ferritin) and a low hemoglobin concentration. We used multiple logistic regression to adjust for factors that were more prevalent in Mexican American females and significantly associated with iron deficiency anemia. Results: The prevalence of iron deficiency anemia was 6.2 +- 0.8% (x +- SE) in Mexican American females and 2.3 +- 0.4% in non-Hispanic white females. Mean dietary iron intake, mean serum vitamin C concentrations, and the proportion of females using oral contraceptives were similar in the 2 groups. Age < 20 y and education were not associated with iron deficiency anemia. After adjustment for poverty level, parity, and iron supplement use, the prevalence of iron deficiency anemia was 2.3 times higher in Mexican American than in non-Hispanic white females (95% CI: 1.4, 3.9). In those with a poverty income ratio (based on household income) > 3.0, however, the prevalence of iron deficiency anemia was 2.6 +- 0.9% in Mexican American and 1.9 +- 0.6% in non-Hispanic white females (NS). Conclusion: Although much of the ethnic disparity in iron deficiency anemia remains unexplained, factors associated with household income may be involved.

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Accession: 010885144

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 11010938

DOI: 10.1093/ajcn/72.4.963



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