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To assess the association of the acute-phase protein biomarkers, C-reactive protein (CRP) and α1-acid glycoprotein (AGP), with anaemia in children aged 6–59·9 months in Papua New Guinea.
A nationally representative household-based cross-sectional survey of children aged 6–59·9 months was used to assess the relationships between various combinations of elevated CRP (>5 mg/l) and AGP (>1·2 g/l) with anaemia. Logistic regression was used to determine if other factors, such as age, sex, measures of anthropometry, region, urban/rural residence and household size, modified or confounded the acute-phase protein–anaemia association.
Papua New Guinea.
A total of 870 children aged 6–59·9 months from the 2005 Papua New Guinea National Micronutrient Survey were assessed.
The following prevalence estimates were found: anaemia 48 %; elevated CRP 32 %; and elevated AGP 33 %. Children with elevated CRP had a prevalence of anaemia of 66 % compared with children with normal CRP who had a prevalence of 40 %. Corresponding estimates for AGP were 61 % and 42 %, respectively. Similar results were found with combinations of elevated CRP and AGP. The higher prevalence of anaemia in children with elevated CRP and/or AGP was still present after controlling for confounders.
Elevated levels of CRP and AGP were significantly associated with a higher prevalence of anaemia in the children surveyed. There are no expert group recommendations on whether to or how to account for markers of inflammation in presenting results on anaemia prevalence. Additional research would be helpful to clarify this issue.
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