Background: Globally, anemia is a common disease which is affecting almost one quarter of the population. Preschool age children the most prone to encounter anemia. Consequences of anemia include health problems in addition to suppressed scholar achievement. Despite its importance, there is paucity in researches describing its prevalence and risk factors in preschool children in particular.
Aim of the study: Therefore, the current study aimed at finding out prevalence as well as possible risk factors associated with anemia among preschool children.
Subjects and methods: The study followed a consecutive steps started by a cross sectional study which was followed by a nested case control approach. From the previous records, a total of 22 preschool children who were anemic represented the cases and controls were selected from the non anemic counterparts with a proportion of 1:3, making a total of 75 children. SPSS ver.20 was used for data entry and statistical analysis. In addition to descriptive statistics; Chi square, independent sample t test and regression were carried out. Level of significance was set at <0.05.
Results: The prevalence of IDA in young children (6-8 years) who were attending the preschool clinic at Iskan primary health care clinic at Jeddah city in 2013 was 8.3%, the result showed that there was no statistically significant relationship between IDA and the Socio-demographic characteristics, intake of iron drops, breast feeding and health education.
Also, regarding eating pattern (daily eating vs not daily eating) of eight selected food as predictors we found that, the only one predictor (Cereals) has significant relation with the (Anemia), p-value =0.014.
Conclusion and recommendations: The prevalence of anemia among preschool children in National Guard Iskan is relatively low if compared to general population in Saudi Arabia and Arabian Gulf. Only cereals were found to be protective against anemia. There is a need for further studies among National Guard population with inclusion of preschool boys and with larger sample size. in addition , further studies are needed among Saudi children in different areas of Saudi Arabia by those who concerns about the public health among children.