Study of magnitude and socio-demographic factors associated with anaemia among children of a school for mentally challenged in Ahmednagar, Maharashtra

Pritish K. Raut, Shubhada S. Avachat, Sachin Gupta, Rutuja D. Pundkar


Background: Anaemia is one of the important silent morbidity in childhood that affects the development of a child. Disabled children are more vulnerable for nutritional problems like under-nutrition or anaemia due to inadequate nutrient intake either due to feeding problems or poor feeding knowledge among care providers. However there are very few studies regarding nutritional problems of intellectually disabled. The aims of the study were to assess the nutritional status and magnitude of anaemia among mentally challenged children and to study the socio-demographic variables associated with anaemia among them.

Methods: A Cross sectional study was conducted in a Day School for mentally challenged in Ahmednagar. All 45 children (Day scholars) were enrolled in the study. Data collection was done using a predesigned proforma for detail history. Anthropometric measurements and Body mass index were used for assessment of nutritional status. Haemoglobin estimation was done by using Sahali's Haemoglobinometer. The details of socioeconomic status and intelligence quotient (I.Q.) were taken from the official records of the school. Percentages, proportions and Chi square test were used for Statistical Analysis.

Results: The mean age was 12.5 years, mean IQ was 37.8. More than half of the children were undernourished (64% had BMI<18.5). Mean Haemoglobin was 10.3 and 33 (73%) children were suffering from mild to moderate anaemia. Significant association was observed between degree of mental retardation and anaemia.

Conclusions: Majority of mentally challenged children in our study were suffering from under nutrition and anaemia.


Anaemia, Mentally challenged, Intelligence quotient

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