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Anaemia is characterised by low hemoglobin (Hb) concentration. Despite being a public health concern in Ethiopia, the role of micronutrients and non-nutritional factors as a determinant of Hb concentrations has been inadequately explored. This study focused on the assessment of serum micronutrient and Hb concentrations and a range of non-nutritional factors, to evaluate their associations with the risk of anaemia among the Ethiopian population (n 2046). It also explored the mediation effect of Zn on the relation between se and Hb. Bivariate and multivariate regression analyses were performed to identify the relationship between serum micronutrients concentration, inflammation biomarkers, nutritional status, presence of parasitic infection and socio-demographic factors with Hb concentration (n 2046). Sobel–Goodman test was applied to investigate the mediation of Zn on relations between serum se and Hb. In total, 18·6 % of participants were anaemic, 5·8 % had iron deficiency (ID), 2·6 % had ID anaemia and 0·6 % had tissue ID. Younger age, household head illiteracy and low serum concentrations of ferritin, Co, Cu and folate were associated with anaemia. Serum se had an indirect effect that was mediated by Zn, with a significant effect of se on Zn (P < 0·001) and Zn on Hb (P < 0·001). The findings of this study suggest the need for designing a multi-sectorial intervention to address anaemia based on demographic group.
Inflammation and infections such as malaria affect estimates of micronutrient status. Medline, Embase, Web of Science, Scopus and the Cochrane library were searched to identify studies reporting mean concentrations of ferritin, hepcidin, retinol or retinol binding protein in individuals with asymptomatic or clinical malaria and healthy controls. Study quality was assessed using the US National Institute of Health tool. Random effects meta-analyses were used to generate summary mean differences. In total, forty-four studies were included. Mean ferritin concentrations were elevated by: 28·2 µg/l (95 % CI 15·6, 40·9) in children with asymptomatic malaria; 28·5 µg/l (95 % CI 8·1, 48·8) in adults with asymptomatic malaria; and 366 µg/l (95 % CI 162, 570) in children with clinical malaria compared with individuals without malaria infection. Mean hepcidin concentrations were elevated by 1·52 nmol/l (95 % CI 0·92, 2·11) in children with asymptomatic malaria. Mean retinol concentrations were reduced by: 0·11 µmol/l (95 % CI −0·22, −0·01) in children with asymptomatic malaria; 0·43 µmol/l (95 % CI −0·71, −0·16) in children with clinical malaria and 0·73 µmol/l (95 % CI −1·11, −0·36) in adults with clinical malaria. Most of these results were stable in sensitivity analyses. In children with clinical malaria and pregnant women, difference in ferritin concentrations were greater in areas with higher transmission intensity. We conclude that biomarkers of iron and vitamin A status should be statistically adjusted for malaria and the severity of infection. Several studies analysing asymptomatic infections reported elevated ferritin concentrations without noticeable elevation of inflammation markers, indicating a need to adjust for malaria status in addition to inflammation adjustments.
Multiple micronutrient deficiencies are widespread in Ethiopia. However, the distribution of Se and Zn deficiency risks has previously shown evidence of spatially dependent variability, warranting the need to explore this aspect for wider micronutrients. Here, blood serum concentrations for Ca, Mg, Co, Cu and Mo were measured (n 3102) on samples from the Ethiopian National Micronutrient Survey. Geostatistical modelling was used to test spatial variation of these micronutrients for women of reproductive age, who represent the largest demographic group surveyed (n 1290). Median serum concentrations were 8·6 mg dl−1 for Ca, 1·9 mg dl−1 for Mg, 0·4 µg l−1 for Co, 98·8 µg dl−1 for Cu and 0·2 µg dl−1 for Mo. The prevalence of Ca, Mg and Co deficiency was 41·6 %, 29·2 % and 15·9 %, respectively; Cu and Mo deficiency prevalence was 7·6 % and 0·3 %, respectively. A higher prevalence of Ca, Cu and Mo deficiency was observed in north western, Co deficiency in central and Mg deficiency in north eastern parts of Ethiopia. Serum Ca, Mg and Mo concentrations show spatial dependencies up to 140–500 km; however, there was no evidence of spatial correlations for serum Co and Cu concentrations. These new data indicate the scale of multiple mineral micronutrient deficiency in Ethiopia and the geographical differences in the prevalence of deficiencies suggesting the need to consider targeted responses during the planning of nutrition intervention programmes.
Dietary patterns analysis is an emerging area of research. Identifying distinct patterns within a large dietary survey can give a more accurate representation of what people are eating. Furthermore, it allows researchers to analyse relationships between non-communicable diseases (NCD) and complete diets rather than individual food items or nutrients. However, few such studies have been conducted in developing countries including India, where the population has a high burden of diabetes and CVD. We undertook a systematic review of published and grey literature exploring dietary patterns and relationships with diet-related NCD in India. We identified eight studies, including eleven separate models of dietary patterns. Most dietary patterns were vegetarian with a predominance of fruit, vegetables and pulses, as well as cereals; dietary patterns based on high-fat, high-sugar foods and more meat were also identified. There was large variability between regions in dietary patterns, and there was some evidence of change in diets over time, although no evidence of different diets by sex or age was found. Consumers of high-fat dietary patterns were more likely to have greater BMI, and a dietary pattern high in sweets and snacks was associated with greater risk of diabetes compared with a traditional diet high in rice and pulses, but other relationships with NCD risk factors were less clear. This review shows that dietary pattern analyses can be highly valuable in assessing variability in national diets and diet–disease relationships. However, to date, most studies in India are limited by data and methodological shortcomings.