Prevalence of specific micronutrient deficiencies in urban school going children and adolescence of India: A multicenter cross-sectional study

Shally Awasthi, Divas Kumar, Abbas Ali Mahdi, Girdhar G. Agarwal, Anuj Kumar Pandey, Hina Parveen, Shweta Singh, Rajiv Awasthi, Harsh Pande, T. S. Anish, B. N. Mahanta, C. M. Singh, Joseph L. Mathew, Mohammad Kaleem Ahmad, Kuldeep Singh, Mushtaq A. Bhat, A. R. Somashekar, Sonali Kar, Suma Nair

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Introduction Childhood and adolescence require adequate amount of micronutrients for normal growth and development. The primary objective of study was to assess the prevalence of deficiencies of Vitamins (Vitamin A, 25 Hydroxy Vitamin D, Vitamin B12 and Folate) and minerals (Calcium, Zinc, Selenium and Iron), among urban school going children aged 6–11 and 12–16 years in ten cities of India. Secondary objective was to find the association between micronutrient deficiencies with sociodemographic and anthropometric indicators. Methods A multi-center cross-sectional study was conducted across India. Participants in the age groups of 6 to 11 years (group 1) and 12 to 16 years (group 2) were selected from randomly chosen schools from each center. Data on socio economic status, anthropometric measures was collected. Blood samples were collected for biochemical analysis of micronutrients. Point estimates and 95% confidence intervals was used to assess the prevalence of deficiencies. Associations were observed using chi square, student t test and ANOVA test. Results From April 2019 to February 2020, 2428 participants (1235 in group 1 and 1193 group 2) were recruited from 60 schools across ten cites. The prevalence of calcium and iron deficiency was 59.9% and 49.4% respectively. 25 Hydroxy Vitamin D deficiency was seen in 39.7% and vitamin B12 in 33.4% of subjects. Folate, Selenium and Zinc were deficient in 22.2%, 10.4% and 6.8% of subjects respectively. Vitamin A deficiency least (1.6%). Anemia was prevalent in 17.6% subjects and was more common among females. Conclusion One or more micronutrient deficiencies are found in almost one half of school going children in urban area. Hence efforts must be made to combat these on priority.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0267003
JournalPLoS One
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 05-2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


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