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Anemia in children aged 6–59 months was significantly associated with maternal anemia status in rural Zimbabwe

Mutonhodza, Beaula; Dembedza, Mavis P.; Lark, Murray R.; Joy, Edward J. M.; Manzeke‐Kangara, Muneta G.; Njovo, Handrea; Nyadzayo, Tasiana K.; Kalimbira, Alexander A.; Bailey, Elizabeth H.; Broadley, Martin R.; Matsungo, Tonderayi M.; Chopera, Prosper


Beaula Mutonhodza

Mavis P. Dembedza

Professor of Geoinformatics

Edward J. M. Joy

Muneta G. Manzeke‐Kangara

Handrea Njovo

Tasiana K. Nyadzayo

Alexander A. Kalimbira

Associate Professor

Tonderayi M. Matsungo

Prosper Chopera


Globally, anemia is a public health problem affecting mostly women of reproductive age (WRA, n=452) and children aged 6–59 months (n=452) from low- and lower-middle-income countries. This cross-sectional study assessed the prevalence and determinants of anemia in WRA and children aged 6–59 months in rural Zimbabwe. The venous blood sample was measured for hemoglobin utilizing a HemoCue machine. Anthropometric indices were assessed and classified based on World Health Organization standards. Socioeconomic characteristics were assessed. The median (±inter quartile range (IQR)) age of WRA was 29 ± 12 years and that for children was 29 ± 14 months. The prevalence of anemia was 29.6% and 17.9% in children and WRA, respectively, while the median (±IQR) hemoglobin levels were 13.4 ± 1.8 and 11.7 ± 1.5g/dl among women and children, respectively. Multiple logistic regression analysis was used to assess determinants of anemia. Anemia in children was significantly associated with maternal anemia (odds ratio (OR)=2.02; 95% CI 1.21–3.37; p=.007) and being a boy (OR=0.63; 95% CI 0.41–0.95; p=.029), while anemia in WRA was significantly associated with the use of unimproved dug wells as a source of drinking water (OR=0.36; 95% CI 0.20–0.66; p=.001) and lack of agricultural land ownership (OR=0.51; 95% CI 0.31–0.85; p=.009). Anemia is a public health problem in the study setting. The positive association between maternal and child anemia reflects the possibility of cross-generational anemia. Therefore, interventions that focus on improving preconceptual and maternal nutritional status may help to reduce anemia in low-income settings.


Mutonhodza, B., Dembedza, M. P., Lark, M. R., Joy, E. J. M., Manzeke‐Kangara, M. G., Njovo, H., …Chopera, P. (2022). Anemia in children aged 6–59 months was significantly associated with maternal anemia status in rural Zimbabwe. Food Science and Nutrition,

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Nov 11, 2022
Online Publication Date Dec 5, 2022
Publication Date Dec 5, 2022
Deposit Date Dec 20, 2022
Publicly Available Date Jan 5, 2023
Electronic ISSN 2048-7177
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Keywords Food Science
Public URL
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