Anaemia in early childhood among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children of Far North Queensland: a retrospective cohort study

Leonard, Dympna, Buttner, Petra, Thompson, Fintan, Makrides, Maria, and McDermott, Robyn (2019) Anaemia in early childhood among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children of Far North Queensland: a retrospective cohort study. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health. (In Press)

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Abstract

Objective: Early childhood anaemia affects health and neurodevelopment. This study describes anaemia among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children of Far North Queensland.

Methods: This retrospective cohort study used health information for children born between 2006 and 2010 and their mothers. We describe the incidence of early childhood anaemia and compare characteristics of children and mothers where the child had anaemia with characteristics of children and mothers where the child did not have anaemia using bivariate and multivariable analysis, by complete case (CC) and with multiple imputed (MI) data.

Results: Among these (n=708) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children of Far North Queensland, 61.3% (95%CI 57.7%, 64.9%) became anaemic between the ages of six and 23 months. Multivariable analysis showed a lower incidence of anaemia among girls (CC/MI p<0.001) and among children of Torres Strait Islander mothers or both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mothers (CC/MI p<0.001) compared to children of Aboriginal mothers. A higher incidence of anaemia was seen among children of mothers with parity three or more (CC/MI p<0.001); children born by caesarean section (CC/MI p<0.001); and children with rapid early growth (CC/MI p<0.001).

Conclusion: Early childhood anaemia is common among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children of Far North Queensland. Poor nutrition, particularly iron deficiency, and frequent infections are likely causes.

Implications for public health: Prevention of early childhood anaemia in ‘Close the Gap’ initiatives would benefit the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children of Far North Queensland – and elsewhere in northern Australia.

Item ID: 58876
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1753-6405
Keywords: anaemia; Aboriginal; Torres; child; mother; Queensland
Copyright Information: © 2019 The Authors. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution‐NonCommercial‐NoDerivs License, which permits use and distribution in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non‐commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made.
Funders: National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC)
Projects and Grants: NHMRC post‐graduate scholarship APP1092732
Date Deposited: 10 Jul 2019 00:00
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1111 Nutrition and Dietetics > 111104 Public Nutrition Intervention @ 50%
11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111701 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health @ 50%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9203 Indigenous Health > 920302 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health - Health Status and Outcomes @ 50%
92 HEALTH > 9203 Indigenous Health > 920301 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health - Determinants of Health @ 50%
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