Original Research

The association between the severity of anemia and socio-demographic factors among children under five years of age in Kut City

Sadiq Zidane Al Kaabi, Dheya Shinyar Al-Saad, Ali Kadhim Al-Rubaye, Abbas Ali Abdulhasan Alkinani
Journal of Public Health in Africa | Vol 14, No 8 | a102 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4081/jphia.2023.2676 | © 2024 Sadiq Zidane Al Kaabi, Dheya Shinyar Al-Saad, Ali Kadhim Al-Rubaye, Abbas Ali Abdulhasan Alkinani | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 03 April 2024 | Published: 30 August 2023

About the author(s)

Sadiq Zidane Al Kaabi, Department of Community Health Techniques, College of Health and Medical Technology, South Technical University, Basrah, Iraq
Dheya Shinyar Al-Saad, College of Health and Medical Technology, Southern Technical University, Basra, Iraq
Ali Kadhim Al-Rubaye, Training and Human Development Center, Basra Health Directorate, Ministry of Health, Iraq
Abbas Ali Abdulhasan Alkinani, Community Medicine Department, School of Medical Sciences, University Science of Malaysia and Ministry of Health, Wasit Health Directorate, Higher Health Institute


Background. Anemia is a public health issue that affects both industrialized and developing nations. Childhood anemia has severe consequences, including reduced growth, poor motor and cognitive development, and increased death and morbidity.

Objective. This study aims to determine sociodemographic factors associated with the severity of anemia among under-five children in Kut City.

Methods. A cross-sectional study with a convenience sample (non-probability) was conducted among 264 children admitted to hospitals in Kut City, from September 1st, 2022, to March 1st, 2023. Data were collected via questionnaires, and descriptive and inferential statistics were used to evaluate the data.

Results. The total number of children participating in the study was 264, with 39.0% having mild anemia and 60.0% having moderate anemia, according to the World Health Organization classification of anemia. The results showed that the children most at risk of developing anemia were within 4 years of age and had a lower mean hemoglobin level than the rest of the age groups of the children participating in the study, compared to the mean+standard deviation (SD) (9.46+0.99). Boys are more affected than girls, and those who reside in rural areas have lower hemoglobin (HB) percentages with a mean+SD of (9.21+0.93). Unemployed mothers who read and write had the lowest HB percentage. In contrast, parents with primary education and government jobs have the lowest percentage of HB. Children of married mothers are more affected by anemia. Families with high overcrowding showed the lowest rate of HB. They experienced low socioeconomic status as a result. The degree of anemia was significantly correlated with the child’s age, residence, mother’s educational level, father’s job, and socioeconomic position.

Conclusion. This study concludes a significant association between the severity of anemia and sociodemographic factors, both unmodifiable (age) and modifiable (residence, mothers’ education, fathers’ jobs, and economic and social status). Children with modifiable risk factors need to have their anemia risk constantly evaluated.


anemia; children under five years; sociodemographic factors; associated factors


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