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Korean Journal of Pediatrics 2008;51(5):468-473.
Published online May 15, 2008.
A study of mothers knowledge of weaning of infants with iron-deficiency anemia
Sung Jin Kim, Dong Hyun Kim, Joo Hee Chang, Yong Hun Jun, Young Jin Hong, Byong Kwan Son, Soon Ki Kim
Department of Pediatrics, College of Medicine, Inha University, Incheon, Korea
철결핍빈혈 영·유아에서 어머니의 이유지식
김성진, 김동현, 장주희, 전용훈, 홍영진, 손병관, 김순기
인하대학교 의과대학 소아과학교실
Correspondence:  Soon Ki Kim,
Email: pedkim@inha.ac.kr
Abstract
Purpose
: Iron-deficiency anemia (IDA) is still one of the most common nutrient deficiency disorders, despite improvements in general health and nutrition. This study was designed to investigate the diagnostic values of hematological profiles, including the level of ferritin, and to evaluate the knowledge of mothers on weaning practices for infants and young children with IDA.
Methods
: This study was conducted on 111 infants and young children from six to 40 months of age with IDA. Their parents completed a questionnaire. IDA was defined as a level of hemoglobin <11.0 g/dL, the presence of microcytosis, a level of ferritin <10.0 ng/dL, transferrin saturation <15%, or an 1 g/dL increase in the level of hemoglobin after iron administration. The questionnaire made inquiries into their weaning practices.
Results
: In 111 infants and young children aged from six to 40 months, the average level of Hb was 9.5?.0 g/dL. The prevalence of ferritin level (>10 ng/dL) was 48.6%, in spite of IDA. Seventy-four infants (66.7%) began to wean between four and six months, and 37 infants (33.3%) after seven months of age. The main food given after weaning was rice gruel. The weaning periods showed a significant relationship to the severity of anemia (P<0.05). There was no significant difference in the severity of anemia in terms of the educational levels of the mothers. Fifty-five mothers (49.5%) gave a wrong answer to a questionnaire describing that breast-fed infants aged over four months need to be fed with iron-sufficient food. Of all mothers, 49.6% took one month or more to complete the weaning process and 20% took three months or more.
Conclusion
: Many infants and young children with IDA have been provided with non-iron fortified foods and inadequate weaning. To improve nutritional status, especially among infants with iron deficiencies, nutritional education for mothers with infants at the weaning age must be increased and related programs must be implemented effectively.
Key Words: Iron deficiency anemia, Ferritin, Weaning, Nutrition, Knowledge


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