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Korean J Community Nutr. 2003 Feb;8(1):26-32. Korean. Original Article.
Hong SM , Seo YE , Hwang HJ .
Department of Food Nutrition, University of Ulsan, Ulsan, Korea.
Department of Food Nutrition, University of Dongeui, Busan, Korea.

This study was designed to assess the nutritional iron status and anemia of middle school girls. Three-hundred-fiftythree female subjects in Ulsan metropolitan city were evaluated using a questionnaire, and hematological indices. The average height and weight of the respondents were 157.19 +/- 5.57 cm and 51.06 +/-9.42 kg, respectively. The average Body Mass Index (BMI, Kg/m2) was 20.63 +/-3.23, which was within the normal range. With regard to clinical symptoms, the greatest number of respondents reported that they experienced 'decreased ability to concentrate'. The total caloric intake of each subject was 1743.28 +/- 343.47 kcal (83.01% of the Korean RDA) and the calcium intake was 634.98 +/- 201.43 mg (79.37% of the Korean RDA). The mean daily intake of iron was 14.76 +/- 4.36 mg (92.25% of the Korean RDA) and the heme iron intake was 6.12 +/- 2.30 mg, which was 41.5% of the total iron intake. The average hemoglobin (Hb) concentration of the subjects was 13.24 +/- 1.01 g/dl, and the average hematocrit (Hct) level was 37.79 +/- 4.10%. The transferrin saturation {TS (%)} was 19.41 +/- 9.21%, and the ferritin level was 26.26 +/- 18.60 ng/ml. The iron deficiency anemia among the subjects was estimated at 6.1% by using Hb (< 12 g/dl), 20.5% by using Hct (< 36%), 30.8% by using TS (< 14%), and 23.1% by using ferritin (< 12 ng/ml). The total iron binding capacity (TIBC) showed a negative correlation with the Hb, iron, ferritin and TS. With regard to the correlation between blood biochemistry and clinical symptoms related to anemia, the Hb concentration was negatively correlated with 'pale face' (p < 0.05). In addition, the level of iron was significantly and negatively correlated with 'poor memory' (p < 0.01) and the ferritin concentration was negatively correlated with 'no appetite' (p < 0.05), 'pale face (p < 0.05). These results suggest that the prevalence of iron deficiency among middle school girls is very high; therefore, guidelines on dietary support and nutritional education to improve their dietary iron status should be provided.

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