A cluster-randomized clinical trial showed that biannual single-dose azithromycin reduced mortality in preschool children; we sought to determine the effect on anemia. A simple random sample of 30 communities from Kilosa district, Tanzania, were themselves randomized to receive either 6-monthly treatment of children aged 1–59 months with single-dose azithromycin or placebo. From each community, 40 preschool children were randomly selected at baseline, 12 months, and 24 months. At surveys, the children underwent hemoglobin testing; WHO definitions for anemia were applied. After adjusting for community clustering, the prevalence of anemia was not significantly different by treatment assignment at baseline, 12 months, and 24 months. In each of the cross-sectional surveys, anemia prevalence was associated with younger age; the odds of being anemic was highest in those aged < 12 months. There was also a general decrease in the prevalence of anemia during the study. Although azithromycin was not shown to affect anemia, significantly, the study highlights burden of anemia in rural, African communities.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases