Prevalence of Nutritional Deficiencies Among Populations of Newly Arriving Government Assisted Refugee Children to Kitchener/Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
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This study examined the variation among ethnic populations in prevalence of anemia, vitamin D and B12 deficiencies among refugee children. A retrospective chart review of 388 government assisted refugee children ≤ 16 years of age, seen at the Refugee Health Clinic in Kitchener, Canada from January 2009 to December 2014 was conducted. Vitamin D levels were only collected until December 1st 2010 (116 children). 15.7% were anemic (25% < 5 years, 8.7% 5-11 years, and 18.3% 12-16 years old) with Somali children having the lowest hemoglobin levels compared to those from Iraq, Afghanistan and Myanmar. 53.5% were vitamin D deficient (25(OH)D < 50 nmol/L), seen most commonly in Iraqis and Afghans. 11.2% had vitamin B12 levels < 150 pmol/L. Providers' knowledge of prevalence of nutritional deficiencies related to region of origin, can guide appropriate screening and treatment options to promote longer term cognitive, physical and developmental health.
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