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Bouillon cubes are widely consumed by poor households in sub-Saharan Africa. Because their main ingredient is salt, bouillon cubes could be a good source of iodine if iodized salt is used in their production and if their consumption by target groups is high. Our objective was to measure the iodine content of bouillon cubes, estimate their daily intake in school-aged children and evaluate their potential contribution to iodine intakes.
In a cross-sectional study, we measured urinary iodine concentrations (UIC) and estimated total daily iodine intakes. We administered a questionnaire on usage of bouillon cubes. We measured the iodine content of bouillon cubes, household salt, drinking-water and milk products.
Primary schools in northern Ghana.
Schoolchildren aged 6–13 years.
Among school-aged children (n 250), median (interquartile range) UIC and estimated iodine intake were 242 (163–365) µg/l and 129 (85–221) µg/d, indicating adequate iodine status. Median household salt iodine concentration (n 100) was only 2·0 (0·83–7·4) µg/g; 72 % of samples contained <5 µg iodine/g. Iodine concentrations in drinking-water and milk-based drinks were negligible. Median iodine content of bouillon cubes was 31·8 (26·8–43·7) µg/g, with large differences between brands. Estimated median per capita consumption of bouillon cubes was 2·4 (1·5–3·3) g/d and median iodine intake from bouillon cubes was 88 (51–110) µg/d.
Despite low household coverage with iodized salt, iodine nutrition in school-aged children is adequate and an estimated two-thirds of their dietary iodine is obtained from bouillon cubes.
Anaemia is common during pregnancy, and prenatal Fe supplementation is the standard of care. However, the persistence of anaemia despite Fe supplementation, particularly in HIV infection, suggests that its aetiology may be more complex and warrants further investigation. The present study was conducted to examine predictors of incident haematological outcomes in HIV-infected pregnant women in Tanzania.
Prospective cohort study. Cox proportional hazards and binomial regression models were used to identify predictors of incident haematological outcomes: anaemia (Hb < 110 g/l), severe anaemia (Hb < 85 g/l) and hypochromic microcytosis, during the follow-up period.
Antenatal clinics in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
Participants were 904 HIV-infected pregnant women enrolled in a randomized trial of vitamins (1995–1997).
Malaria, pathogenic protozoan and hookworm infections at baseline were associated with a two-fold increase in the risk of anaemia and hypochromic microcytosis during follow-up. Higher baseline erythrocyte sedimentation rate and CD8 T-cell concentrations, and lower Hb concentrations and CD4 T-cell counts, were independent predictors of incident anaemia and Fe deficiency. Low baseline vitamin D (<32 ng/ml) concentrations predicted a 1·4 and 2·3 times greater risk of severe anaemia and hypochromic microcytosis, respectively, during the follow-up period.
Parasitic infections, vitamin D insufficiency, low CD4 T-cell count and high erythrocyte sedimentation rate were the main predictors of anaemia and Fe deficiency in pregnancy and the postpartum period in this population. A comprehensive approach to prevent and manage anaemia, including micronutrient supplementation and infectious disease control, is warranted in HIV-infected women in resource-limited settings – particularly during the pre- and postpartum periods.
Predictors and consequences of childhood anaemia in settings with high HIV prevalence are not well known. The aims of the present study were to identify maternal and child predictors of anaemia among children born to HIV-infected women and to study the association between childhood anaemia and mortality.
Prospective cohort study. Maternal characteristics during pregnancy and Hb measurements at 3-month intervals from birth were available for children. Information was also collected on malaria and HIV infection in the children, who were followed up for survival status until 24 months after birth.
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
The study sample consisted of 829 children born to HIV-positive women.
Advanced maternal clinical HIV disease (relative risk (RR) for stage ≥2 v. stage 1: 1·31, 95 % CI 1·14, 1·51) and low CD4 cell counts during pregnancy (RR for <350 cells/mm3v. ≥350 cells/mm3: 1·58, 95 % CI 1·05, 2·37) were associated with increased risk of anaemia among children. Birth weight <2500 g, preterm birth (<34 weeks), malaria parasitaemia and HIV infection in the children also increased the risk of anaemia. Fe-deficiency anaemia in children was an independent predictor of mortality in the first two years of life (hazard ratio 1·99, 95 % CI 1·06, 3·72).
Comprehensive care including highly active antiretroviral therapy to eligible HIV-infected women during pregnancy could reduce the burden of anaemia in children. Programmes for the prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV and antimalarial treatment to children could improve child survival in settings with high HIV prevalence.
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