To assess folic acid as a risk factor for anemia in children 6-24 months of age, enrolled in municipal daycare centers.
A cross-sectional study with 196 children aged 6 to 24 months enrolled in 25 municipal daycare centers in the city of Goiânia, Goiás State, Brazil. We analyzed the socioeconomic and cultural conditions, presence or absence of anemia earlier, breastfeeding and birth weight. Venous blood samples were collected from children on fasting. The complete blood count was performed with electronic counting in Cell-Dyn 3200 SL. Children with hemoglobin <11 g/dL were considered anemic. Serum folate was evaluated by chemiluminescence and C-reactive protein (CRP) by turbidimetry. Statistical analysis was performed using Stata 10.0. The chi-square test were used and Poisson regression controlling for design effect and robust adjustment of variance was used in the multivariate analysis performed according to the hierarchical model.
Children with serum folate <8.7 ng / mL in multivariate analysis showed an adjusted prevalence ratio of 1.62 (95% CI: 1.13 to 2.32) times more likely to have anemia than those with acid folic serum = 15.55 ng / ml. This occurred regardless of income group, number of children under five years old, age, history of anemia, length for age and the presence of inflammation detected by C-reactive protein.
folate levels are inversely associated with the prevalence of anemia, suggesting that supplementation of folic acid should be part of the treatment of anemia.