Anaemia and its relation to demographic, socio-economic and anthropometric factors in rural primary school children in Hai Phong City, Vietnam

Ngan T.D. Hoang, Liliana Orellana, Tuyen D. Le, Rosalind S. Gibson, Anthony Worsley, Andrew J. Sinclair, Nghien T.T. Hoang, Ewa A. Szymlek-Gay

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Little is known about the prevalence of anaemia and associated factors in school children in Vietnam. In this cross-sectional study, we aimed to determine the prevalence of anaemia and its subtypes, and the associations of types of anaemia with demographic, socio-economic and anthropometric factors among 6–9-year-old primary school children in rural areas of Hai Phong City, Vietnam. Haemoglobin (Hb) and mean corpuscular volume (MCV) were measured, and demographic, socio-economic and anthropometric data were collected in 893 children from eight primary schools. The prevalence of anaemia (Hb < 115 g/L) was 12.9% (95% CI: 8.1%, 19.9%), microcytic anaemia (Hb < 115 g/L and MCV < 80 fL) was 7.9% (95% CI: 5.3%, 11.6%) and normocytic anaemia (Hb < 115 g/L and MCV 80–90 fL) was 5.3% (95% CI: 2.9%, 9.5%). No child presented with macrocytic anaemia (Hb < 115 g/L and MCV > 90 fL). Children who were underweight, wasted, or in anthropometric failure (either underweight, stunted or wasted) were more likely to be anaemic (all p ≤ 0.004), and specifically, to have normocytic anaemia (all p ≤ 0.006), than those who were not underweight, wasted or in anthropometric failure. Stunted children were more likely to be anaemic (p = 0.018) than those who were not stunted. Overweight/obese children were less likely to be anaemic (p = 0.026) or have normocytic anaemia (p = 0.038) compared with children who were not overweight/obese. No anthropometric status indicator was associated with the risk of microcytic anaemia. No demographic or socio-economic factor was associated with any type of anaemia. Anaemia remains a public health issue in rural areas in Hai Phong City, Vietnam, and future approaches for its prevention and control should target undernourished primary school children.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1478
Number of pages15
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2019


  • Anaemia
  • Childhood overweight/obesity
  • Double burden of diseases
  • Malnutrition
  • School children
  • Vietnam

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