LAILLOU A, VAN PHAM T, TRAN NT, THI LE H, WIERINGA F, ROHNER F, FORTIN S, BACH LE M, THANH TRAN D, MOENCH-PFANNER R, BERGER J.
April 2012, PLoS ONE
As no national data existed on the prevalence of micronutrient deficiencies, a survey was conducted in 2010 to assess the micronutrient status of randomly selected women of reproductive age (n=1526) and children aged 6–75 months (n=586). In women, according to international thresholds, prevalence of zinc deficiency (ZnD, 67.2±2.6%) and vitamin B12 deficiency (11.7±1.7%) represented public health problems, whereas prevalence of anemia (11.6±1.0%) and iron deficiency (ID, 13.7±1.1%) were considered low, and folate (3%) and vitamin A (VAD, 2%) deficiencies were considered negligible. However, many women had marginal folate (25.1%) and vitamin A status (13.6%). Moreover, overweight (BMI≥23 kg/m2 for Asian population) or underweight occurred in 20% of women respectively highlighting the double burden of malnutrition. In children, a similar pattern was observed for ZnD (51.9±3.5%), anemia (9.1±1.4%) and ID (12.9±1.5%) whereas prevalence of marginal vitamin A status was also high (47.3±2.2%). There was a significant effect of age on anemia and ID prevalence, with the youngest age group (6–17 mo) having the highest risk for anemia, ID, ZnD and marginal vitamin A status as compared to other groups. Though the prevalence of anemia and ID in Vietnam has been markedly reduced over the last decade, a large part of the population is still at risk for other deficiencies such as zinc, vitamin A, folate and vitamin B12 especially the youngest children aged 6–17 mo.