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Height, weight and haemoglobin status of 6 to 59-month-old Kazakh children living in Kzyl-Orda region, Kazakhstan


Objective: To estimate the prevalence of stunting, wasting and anaemia among children aged 6–59 months in the Kzyl-Orda region of Kazakhstan, and to determine the association between childhood height and haemoglobin concentration and a range of environmental and biological factors.

Design: A cross-sectional study using a randomly selected sample. The mothers of children were interviewed, and finger-prick blood samples and anthropometric measurements were collected on both mothers and their children. Associations between haemoglobin (Hb) concentration, anthropometric measurements and questionnaire data were evaluated by multivariate analysis.

Setting: Health centres in Kazalinsk, Djalagash and Zhanakorgan districts of Kzyl-Orda region, Kazakhstan.

Subjects: Two-thousand and twenty-four children aged between 6 and 59 months born to 1501 mothers who were randomly selected from health centre records.

Results: The overall prevalence of stunting (<−2.0 Z-scores height for age), wasting (<−2.0 Z-scores weight for height) and anaemia (Hb<11.0 g/dl) in the study children was found to be 15.8, 0.8 and 50.1%, respectively. However, analysis demonstrated considerable variation by age, with the second year of life showing the highest prevalence of both stunting and anaemia. Both childhood height and haemoglobin concentration were found to be significantly associated with a range of environmental and maternal variables.

Conclusions: This study demonstrates that the prevalence of both stunting and anaemia among Kazakh children in the Kzyl-Orda region is considerable, and similar to that of other Central Asian children. These findings highlight Central Asia as a region with levels of childhood nutritional status that are of concern.

Sponsorship: Funding was provided by the United States Agency for International Development, Office of Nutrition, the United Kingdom Department for International Development, and the Polden-Puckham Trust.

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We thank the Institute of Geography in Almaty and the Kzyl-Orda Regional Health Authority for their help and support throughout the project. We are extremely grateful to the people of Kzyl-Orda for their overwhelming generosity and hospitality in very difficult times. The study was funded by the United States Agency for International Development, the United Kingdom's Department for International Development and the Polden-Puckham Trust. None of these organisations are responsible for the content of this article. The authors acknowledge Professor Nick Mascie-Taylor for his advice on statistical analysis, the late Erica Wheeler for her contribution to the establishment of initial contacts, and an anonymous referee for some insightful comments.

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Dangour, A., Hill, H. & Ismail, S. Height, weight and haemoglobin status of 6 to 59-month-old Kazakh children living in Kzyl-Orda region, Kazakhstan. Eur J Clin Nutr 56, 1030–1038 (2002).

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  • Kazakh
  • children
  • anaemia
  • haemoglobin
  • stunting

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