Prevalence of iron deficiency with and without concurrent anemia in population groups with high prevalences of malaria and other infections: A study in Côte d'lvoire1-3

F. S. Asobayire, P. Adou, Lena Davidsson, J. D. Cook, R. F. Hurrell

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Background: Iron deficiency is highly prevalent in most developing countries. However, its detection is often obscured by infections and inflammatory disorders that are common in the same populations. Objective: The aim of this study was to estimate the prevalence of iron deficiency with or without concurrent anemia in different population groups from Côte d'Ivoire and to evaluate the influence of infectious and inflammatory disorders on iron-status indexes. Design: Blood samples from 1573 children, women, and men were analyzed for hemoglobin, serum ferritin, zinc protoporphyrin, and serum transferrin receptor. C-reactive protein was used as the indicator of inflammation or infection, and samples were screened for malarial parasites and hemoglobinopathies. Iron deficiency was defined as 2 of 3 iron-status indexes outside the cutoff values, and iron deficiency anemia (IDA) was defined as iron deficiency with concurrent anemia. Pearson's correlation coefficients were used to evaluate the influence of malaria and inflammation on iron-status indexes. Results: The prevalence of iron deficiency was 41-63% in the women and children and 13% in the men, whereas the prevalence of IDA was 20-39% in the women and children and 4% in the men. The detection of iron deficiency and IDA was obscured by the high prevalence of inflammatory disorders. Conclusions: Iron deficiency and IDA are highly prevalent in the women and children in Côte d'Ivoire. Iron deficiency was detected in ≅50% of anemic women and children, which indicates that hemoglobin alone is not a good indicator of iron status when inflammatory disorders are highly prevalent. The serum transferrin receptor is the most useful single indicator of iron deficiency because it was the only iron-status index unaffected by malaria or inflammation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)776-782
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 11 Dec 2001



  • Anemia
  • Children
  • Côte d'Ivoire
  • Infection
  • Iron deficiency
  • Malaria
  • Serum ferritin
  • Serum transferrin receptor
  • Zinc protoporphyrin

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