Folate and vitamin B12 status and dietary intake of anaemic adolescent schoolgirls in the delta region of Myanmar

Min Kyaw Htet, Umi Fahmida, David I. Thurnham, Lwin Mar Hlaing, Arwin Ali Purbaya Akib, Budi Utomo, Lisa A. Houghton

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Abstract

The aim of the present study was to assess the prevalence of deficiency of folate and vitamin B12 and, simultaneously, the nutrient intake adequacy of folate, vitamin B12, iron, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B6 and calcium in 391 adolescent anaemic (Hb<120 g/l) schoolgirls living in the delta region of Myanmar (Burma). Dietary intakes were assessed using a 3 d estimated food record. The distribution of observed intakes calculated from the food records were adjusted for usual intakes, and the prevalence of inadequacy was estimated using the estimated average requirement cut-point method. Median (first, third quartile) serum folate and vitamin B12 concentrations were 6·5 (4·6, 8·5) nmol/l and 612·8 (443·2, 795·2) pmol/l, respectively. The prevalence of folate deficiency defined as <6·8 nmol/l was 54 %; however, vitamin B12 deficiency defined as <148 pmol/l was negligible (<1 %). The prevalence of inadequate intake of folate was high (100 %) as was the prevalence of inadequate intakes of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B6 and calcium, ranging from 60 to 100 %. Red meat or poultry was rarely consumed, but fish was consumed on a daily basis. Green leafy vegetables were also consumed frequently but consumption of dairy products was uncommon. Folate deficiency was high, and the prevalence of inadequate intake of folate among other key micronutrients was relatively common in this sample of anaemic adolescent schoolgirls. Appropriate strategies such as food fortification and dietary diversification are needed to improve the micronutrient status of these young women to ensure optimal health and future reproductive success.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S36-S41
JournalBritish Journal of Nutrition
Volume116
Issue numberS1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2016

Keywords

  • Adolescent girls
  • Dietary folate intake
  • Myanmar
  • Serum folate
  • Vitamin B

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