Background/Objectives: Two national surveys were conducted in Jordan in 2002 and 2010 to investigate the micronutrient status in women and children. To determine the prevalence of anemia, iron and folate deficiency among women and children in 2010 and compare with the prevalence of anemia and iron deficiency in 2002.
Subjects/methods: A nationally representative survey was conducted in 2002 (1023 women, 15–49 years of age; 1059 children, 12–59 months of age) and a second survey in 2010 (2035 women; 940 children). Venous blood samples were used to measure hemoglobin, ferritin and red blood cell folate (the latter on a subsample of 393 women).
Results: Among women in 2010, the prevalence of folate deficiency and insufficiency was 13.6% and 82.9%, respectively. Geometric mean serum ferritin was higher in 2010 compared with 2002 (21.3 ng/ml vs 18.3, P=0.01); there was no significant change in the prevalence of iron deficiency (35.1% vs 38.7%, P=0.17), iron deficiency anemia (19.1% vs 20.0%, P=0.61) or anemia (29.2% vs 29.3%, P=0.96). Among children, a significantly lower prevalence was observed in 2010 compared with 2002 for iron deficiency (13.7% vs 26.2% P<0.001) and iron deficiency anemia (4.8% vs 10.1%, P<0.001); a nonsignificant lower prevalence was observed for anemia (16.6% vs 20.2%, P=0.09).
Conclusions: In 2010, approximately one of seven women was folate deficient and six out of seven were folate insufficient for the prevention of neural tube defects. Between 2002 and 2010, significant improvement was observed in the prevalence of iron deficiency in children, but not in women.