Under-five anemia and its associated factors with dietary diversity, food security, stunted, and deworming in Ethiopia: systematic review and meta-analysis

Syst Rev. 2020 Feb 12;9(1):31. doi: 10.1186/s13643-020-01289-7.


Background: Anemia is the most common hematologic disorder of children in the globe. There are fragmented and inconclusive study findings on under-five anemia in Ethiopia. Understanding the distribution of anemia is an important step for program planners and policymakers. Therefore, this systematic review was aimed to assess the pooled prevalence of anemia and associated factors with dietary diversity, food security, stunted, and deworming in Ethiopia.

Methods: We searched through African journals of online, Google Scholar, CINHAL, PubMed, Web of Science, Cochrane library, and Scopus. Reviewers used standardized format to extract the data. The data was exported to Stata version 11 software for analysis after extracted by Microsoft excel. The DerSimonian-Laird random-effect model was used to assess the pooled prevalence of under-five anemia. Variation between studies (heterogeneity) was assessed by I2 statistic test. Publication bias was assessed by the Egger test.

Result: From 561 studies, 16 articles were included in this review. The pooled prevalence of under-five anemia in Ethiopia was 44.83%. In subgroup analysis, the higher pooled prevalence of anemia was observed from children's age less than 2 years old (50.36%) (95% CI 39.53, 61.18). Poor dietary diversity OR = 1.71 (1.10, 2.68), stunting OR = 2.59 (2.04, 3.28), food insecurity OR = 2.87 (1.25, 6.61), and not dewormed OR = 2.34 (1.77, 3.09) were predictors of under-five anemia.

Conclusion: The magnitude of under-five anemia in this study was extremely high. Therefore, increased coverage of supplementation and fortification programs, periodic deworming, feeding diversified food, supplement food for those who are stunted, and securing food in the households may all alleviate under-five anemia.

Keywords: Anemia; Determinant; Ethiopia; Prevalence; Under-five children.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Anemia / epidemiology*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Diet*
  • Ethiopia / epidemiology
  • Food Security*
  • Growth Disorders*
  • Humans
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors