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Review of intervention products for use in the prevention and control of anemia

Anemia remains a major public health problem, especially in low-and middle-income countries. The World Health Organization recommends several interventions to prevent and manage anemia in vulnerable population groups, including young children, menstruating adolescent girls and women, and pregnant and postpartum women. Daily iron supplementation reduces the risk of anemia in infants, children, and pregnant women, and intermittent iron supplementation reduces anemia risk in menstruating girls and women. Micronutrient powders reduce the risk of anemia in children. Fortifying wheat flour with iron reduces the risk of anemia in the overall population, whereas the effect of fortifying maize flour and rice is still uncertain. Regarding non-nutrition-related interventions, malaria treatment and deworming have been reported to decrease anemia prevalence. Promising interventions to prevent anemia include vitamin A supplementation, multiple micronutrient supplementation for pregnant women, small-quantity lipid-based supplements, and fortification of salt with iodine and iron. Future research could address the efficacy and safety of different iron supplementation formulations, identify the most bioavailable form of iron for fortification, examine adherence to supplementation regimens and fortification standards, and investigate the effectiveness of integrating micronutrient, helminth, and malaria control programs.

Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences Lopez de Romana et al. September 2023
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