Background: Iron deficiency anemia (IDA) is one of the most common nutritional problems in the world, especially in developing countries. Infants aged between 4 and 24 months are among the population groups that are most affected by iron deficiency (ID). The aim of this study was to investigate the prevalence of ID and IDA in infants aged 12-15 months, living in Ahwaz, southwest of Iran.
Materials and methods: One hundred and twenty-six infants participated in the study. The mean corpuscular volume and hemoglobin (Hb), serum ferritin and hematocrit levels were measured. Anemia was defined when Hb < 11 g/dL and ID when ferritin < 12 microg/mL.
Results: The prevalence of ID and IDA was 31.7 and 26.2%, respectively. The tendency to have IDA in infants fed with cow's milk and infants who did not receive ferrous sulfate was higher than in the other subjects.
Conclusion: ID and IDA are common among infants aged 12-15 months living in Ahwaz, Iran. Maintenance of exclusive breastfeeding up to the 4-6th month of life and iron supplementation for the target group is needed.