Teenagers are a particularly vulnerable age group to Iron Deficiency Anemia (IDA). This study aimed to determine the prevalence and associated risks factors of IDA among apparently healthy school teenagers in Mbouda, West-Cameroon. Blood samples, up to 778 were randomly collected from adolescents aged 10-19 years of four schools in Mbouda. For this cross-sectional study, participants collaborated to fill a questionnaire with us on socio-economic and demographic status. The methods of 24 hours recall, and dietary history were used to determine the dietary habits, the type of food and the consumed meal frequencies during a day. Appropriate indicators including hemoglobin and hematocrit, serum iron, ferritin, transferrin, and total iron binding capacity, transferrin saturation were determined using standard methods. Our findings showed that the prevalence of IDA was 82.4 % and 17.64 % in participants aged 13-19 years and 10-12 years respectively. High significant difference in the mean values of Serum Iron (p = 0.001), Serum ferritin (p<0.001), TIBC (p<0.001), CST (0.001) and Hemoglobin (p<0.001, CI = 2) were observed in participants without IDA compared to those with IDA. The sociodemographic risk factors of IDA in school adolescents were sex [P = 0.001, OR = 0.39 (0.22–0.69)], residence areas [P = 0.001, OR = 3.30 (1.55–7.02)] and school sites [P = 0.002]. Consumption of vegetable [OR: 0.30 (0.17–0.54)], fruits, [OR: 0.26 (0.12–0.52)] and fats [OR: 0.33 (0.12–0.91)] significantly decreased the risk of IDA (p <0.05), whereas the consumption of legumes [OR: 2.60 (1.57–4.32)] significantly increased the risk of IDA. This study suggested that IDA could be prevented by providing proper knowledge on the healthful diet including fats animal food sources, fruit and vegetables, improved lifestyle, and on the harmful effects of IDA to the teenager’s productivity.
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