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1 manuscript available for review volunteers
October 16, 2017
Background: Globally, anemia is the most widely prevalent form of micronutrient deficiencies affecting over a quarter of the population. Evidence suggests that the burden of anemia is higher in the developing countries with women of reproductive age and children being the most at-risk groups. The most common causes are believed to be malnutrition and low bioavailability of micronutrients, which usually result from poor dietary habits and inadequate intake of food rich in micronutrients such as fresh fruits and vegetables. Regular consumption of F&V have been shown to have protective effect against NCDs, however evidence on this protective effect against micronutrient deficiency diseases are limited. Objectives: 1) To measure the prevalence of anemia among adult non-pregnant women in Ghana, and 2) To investigate if there is any cross-sectional relationship between F&V consumption and anemia. Methods This is a cross-sectional study based on data extracted from Ghana Demographic and Health Survey, 2008. Subjects were 4290 non-pregnant women aged between 15 and 49 years. Hemoglobin levels were measured by HemoCue® hemoglobin-meter. Association between anemia and F&V consumption was assessed by multivariable regression methods. Results Findings indicate that well over half (57.9%) of the women were suffering from anemia of some level. Percentage of women consuming at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day were 5.4% and 2.5% respectively. Results of multivariable analysis indicated that among urban women, consumption of <5 servings fruits/day was associated with significantly higher odds of severe [AOR=9.27; 95%CI=5.15-16.70] and moderate anemia [AOR=6.63; 95%CI=4.21-10.44], and consumption of <5 servings of vegetables/day was associated with higher odds of moderate anemia [AOR=2.39; 95%CI=1.14-5.02] compared with those who consumed >5 servings/day. Conclusion The findings indicate that urban women who did not maintain WHO recommended level of F&V consumption bear a significantly higher likelihood of being moderate to severely anemic.

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