Background: Anemia is a major public health problem among children under 5 years of age in India. Cobalamin and folate deficiencies play an important role in the etiology of anemia. This study was done to assess the prevalence of cobalamin and folate deficiencies among children in the age group of 12-59 months.
Methods: A community-based cross-sectional study was conducted. A total of 470 children were included. Non-fasting venous blood samples were collected from each child for the estimation of serum cobalamin and folate levels. Pattern of dietary consumption of the each child was assessed with the help of the food frequency questionnaire (FFQ) method.
Results: The median levels (interquartile range) of serum cobalamin (n = 469) and folate (n = 416) were found to be 275 (202-427) pg/ml and 3.02 (2.02-4.94) ng/ml, respectively. The overall prevalence of cobalamin and folate deficiencies was found to be 180/469 [38.4%; 95% Confidence Interval (CI): 34.1-42.8%] and 263/416 (63.2%; 95% CI: 58.5-67.7%), respectively.
Conclusions: A high prevalence of cobalamin and folate deficiencies was found in children under 5 years of age.