Determinants of anaemia among children aged under five years in Assam, India

Sankar Goswami, Rituparna Acharjee, Sanku Dey


Background: Childhood anaemia is a major public health threat that can increase susceptibility to infections, risk of mortality together with serious degrading consequences on cognitive and physical development. The aim was to examine the prevalence of anaemia in children aged under-five years in Assam, India, exploring 2015-2016 National Family Health Survey (NFHS-4) data.

Methods: Statistical analysis is performed on the cross-sectional data of 10,309 children from 2015-2016 National Family Health Survey (NFHS-4), using binary logistic regression model, to assess the significance of some risk factors of child anaemia. Anaemia was diagnosed by WHO cut-off points on hemoglobin level.

Results: The prevalence of child anaemia was 35.7 per cent in Assam, India, with mean haemoglobin concentration 11.36 gm/dl (95% CI, 11.32-11.38); male and female being equaled proportionately anaemic. Out of 27 districts in Assam, the highest prevalence was found in Dibrugarh (52.2 per cent), followed by Nalbari (46.7 per cent) and Darrang (45.6 per cent); and the least prevalence was found in Karbi-Anglong (24.4 per cent). The findings indicate that rural children and lower age-groups were at greater risk of anaemia. Higher birth order, low level of maternal education, low level of maternal nutrition and non-intake of iron supplements during pregnancy increased the risk of anaemia among children (p<0.05).

Conclusions: The findings suggest a need for proper preventive measures to combat child anaemia. Rural population should be given special attention. Maternal education, nutrition, and birth control measures should be priorities in the programs.


Anaemia, Assam, Children, Risk factors, Logistic regression

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