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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 32  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 96-100

Iron-deficiency anemia as a risk factor for pneumonia in children

1 Department of Pediatric, Faculty of Medicine, Benha University, Benha, Egypt
2 Department of Clinical Pathology, Faculty of Medicine, Benha University, Benha, Egypt
3 Department of Pediatric, Shebin El-Kom Teaching Hospital, Shebin El-Kom City, Egypt

Correspondence Address:
Mohamed M Rashad
MD, 78 El-Manial St., 11451, Cairo
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1110-208X.180321

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Background Pneumonia is the most common single cause of death among children under 5 years of age in the developing countries. Anemia is the most common ailment affecting health, socioeconomic development, and overall betterment of mankind. Objective The aim of this study was to determine the relationship between iron-deficiency anemia (IDA) and pneumonia in Egyptian children. Patients and methods This case-control study included 100 children aged 9-72 months, selected from Benha University Hospital and Shebin El-Kom Educational Hospital from January to December 2014. A total of 50 children with pneumonia and 50 age-matched and sex-matched controls were included in the study. After taking an informed verbal consent from the parents, our children were subjected to medical history taking, clinical examination, and complete blood count. For children with hemoglobin less than 11 g/dl, serum iron, serum ferritin, and total iron binding capacity were detected. C-reactive protein and chest radiography were performed for the patients. Results Anemia, particularly IDA, was significantly more frequent among patients (54 and 22%, respectively) than among controls (24 and 22%, respectively) (P = 0.001 and 0.002, respectively). Hemoglobin level was significantly lower in the IDA patients than in the IDA controls (P = 0.03). Anemia was a risk factor for childhood pneumonia (P = 0.001, odds ratio 4.03, and confidence interval 1.71-9.49) and recurrent chest infection (P < 0.001, odds ratio 15.55, and confidence interval 4.88-49.53). Conclusion Anemia, particularly IDA, is a community problem in Egypt. Anemic children are about four times more susceptible to develop pneumonia compared with the nonanemic ones, and IDA is predominating. Prevention, accurate diagnosis, and prompt treatment of anemia are necessary.

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