Prevalence of anemia in first nations children of northwestern Ontario

Elaine A. Whalen, Laura E. Caulfield, Stewart B. Harris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE To estimate the prevalence of anemia among First Nations children of northwestern Ontario. DESIGN Retrospective review of all hemoglobin determinations between 1990 and 1992 in the Sioux Lookout Zone. SETTING The Sioux Lookout Zone Hospital, a secondary care referral hospital for 28 remote First Nations communities in northwestern Ontario, affiliated with the University of Toronto's Sioux Lookout Program. PARTICIPANTS All First Nations children age 3 to 60 months who had produced venipuncture or fingerprick blood samples between 1990 and 1992 (614 children had a total of 1223 hemoglobin determinations). MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES Prevalence of anemia by age, sex, geographical location, and diagnosis. Anemia was defined as a hemoglobin value less than 110g/L. RESULTS Prevalence of anemia peaked in the age range of 6 to 24 months with prevalence rates of 51.7% to 79.3%. Conditions most commonly associated with anemia were respiratory tract infections. Children living in communities in the western part of the Sioux Lookout Zone were 1.64 times more likely to have anemia (95% confidence interval 1.15, 2.35) than hildren in the other communities. CONCLUSIONS Anemia appears to be a serious public health problem among preschool children in the Sioux Lookout Zone.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)659-664
Number of pages6
JournalCanadian Family Physician
Issue numberAPR.
StatePublished - Dec 1 1997
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Family Practice


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