Submitted to: Asian Congress of Dietetics
Publication Type: Abstract only
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/28/2005
Publication Date: 4/1/2006
Citation: Maramag, C.C., Ribaya-Mercado, J.D., Tengco, L.W., Rayco-Solon, P., Solon, F.S. 2006. Influence of vitamin a-rich meals on the anemia and iron status of filipino schoolchildren in bagac, bataan. Asian Congress of Dietetics. p. 118. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: Complex relationships exist between vitamin A status and iron status. We studied the influence of vitamin A-rich meals on the anemia and iron status of 116 schoolchildren, aged 9-11 years, in the rural community of Bagac, Bataan, Philippines. The schoolchildren were fed 3 meals a day, 5 days a week, for 9 weeks in their school. The meals were standardized and contained vitamin A-rich vegetables (e.g. pechay, carrots, squash fruit, swamp cabbage). Refined coconut oil was added in the meal as source of dietary fat. Blood samples were extracted by venipuncture at baseline and at post-intervention for determination of hemoglobin concentration using a HemoCue B-Hemoglobin photometer and zinc protoporphyrin (ZPP) concentration using a hematoflourometer. Anemia was defined as hemoglobin concentration <12 g/dL, iron deficiency as ZPP concentration >80 mmol/mol heme, and iron deficiency anemia as hemoglobin concentration <12 g/dL plus ZPP concentration >80 mmol/mol heme. Hemoglobin concentration (mean +/- SD) at baseline was 12.5 +/- 1.0 g/dL and at post-intervention was 13.2 +/- 1.2 g/dL (difference=0.8; 95% Confidence Interval: 0.6-1.0; p<0.001). The percentage of schoolchildren who were anemic decreased from 25.9% at baseline to 12.1% at post-intervention (p=0.002). The ZPP concentration of the schoolchildren at baseline was 50.9 +/- 18.0 mmol/mol heme; at post-intervention it was 58.3 ± 18.6 mmol/mol heme difference=7.3; 95% Confidence Interval: 3.7-10.9; p<0.001). The prevalence of iron deficiency was 9.5% at both baseline and post-intervention. The prevalence of iron deficiency anemia was not significantly different (p=0.317) at baseline (7.81%) and at post-intervention (5.2%). In this study, the provision of vitamin A-rich meals to school-aged children improved their mean hemoglobin concentration and reduced anemia prevalence, with no effect on the prevalence of iron deficiency and of iron deficiency anemia. Funder: National Research Initiative of the United States Department of Agriculture Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service, grant number 2003-35200-13607.