Objective.

To examine whether there is a continuation of the decline in prevalence of anemia among low-income infants and children 6.0 to 59.9 months old from the early 1980s to the mid-1990s.

Study Design.

Cross-sectional trend analysis of data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Pediatric Nutrition Surveillance System from the 5 states (Colorado, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Utah, and Vermont) that have been using the same laboratory method for anemia screening since 1984 or earlier.

Results.

The overall prevalence of anemia decreased substantially in each state from the early 1980s to the mid-1990s as follows: Colorado by 52%; New Mexico by 75%; Oklahoma by 67%; Utah by 57%; and Vermont by 48%. In each state, the prevalence of anemia declined for children of different age groups, birth weights, genders, type of pediatric care visit (screening or follow-up), and most race/ethnic groups.

Conclusions.

The decline in the prevalence of anemia initially observed in the 1980s continued well into the 1990s. This decline is likely attributable to better iron nutrition related to greater usage of iron-fortified products and possibly better iron bioavailability in some of the food products.

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