Prevalence and associated risk factors of iron deficiency without anemia among school adolescents in Mbouda, Western Cameroon

Odile Tadzong Mamokem, Wiliane Jean Takougoum Marbou, Marie Modestine Kana Sop, Bruno Phélix Telefo


Background: Adolescents are a particularly vulnerable age group to iron deficiency without anemia (IDWA). This study aimed at determining the prevalence and associated risks factors of IDWA among apparently healthy school teenagers in Mbouda, West-Cameroon.

Methods: The 778 blood samples were randomly collected from adolescents aged 10-19 years of four schools in Mbouda. Appropriate indicators including haemoglobin and haematocrit, serum iron, ferritin, transferrin, and total iron binding capacity, transferrin saturation were determined using standard methods.

Results: The overall prevalence of IDWA was 40.4%. High significant difference in the mean values of serum iron (p≤0.001), serum ferritin (p≤0.001), TIBC (p=0.007), CST (p≤0.001) were observed in participants with IDWA compared to those without IDWA. The sociodemographic risk factors of IDWA in school adolescents were school site (p=0.022; 0.14 (0.90-1.43) and period of menstruation (p=0.015; 1.48 (1.083-2.03). Consumption of roots-tubers [OR: 0.92 (0.48-1.77)] legumes [OR: 2.65 (1.91-3.67)], cereals [OR: 0.90 (0.67-1.22)], increased the risk of IDWA while consumption of vegetables [OR: 0.29 (0.22-0.39)], eggs [OR: 0.66 (0.49-0.90)], and fish-shrimp [OR: 0.172 (0.10-0.295)] decreased the risk of IDWA. Meal consumption frequency had a statistically significant association with IDWA (p≤0.001).

Conclusions: This study identified that IDWA was a major public health in adolescents. This study will help in planning and implementation of the policy for prevention of IDWA in adolescents.


IDWA, School adolescents, Blood parameters, Dietary habit, Cameroon

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