Sugar Cane Honey is as Effective as Weekly Iron Supplementation to Prevent and Treat Anemia in Preschoolers
Cecília Costa Arcanjo; Francisco Plácido Nogueira Arcanjo, PhD; Alice Aguiar Teixeira; Yandra Maria Gomes Ponte; Glício Arruda Brito; Ticianne Pinto Ferreira; Wilcare de Medeiros Cordeiro Nascimento, MSc; Paulo Roberto Santos, PhD

Objective: To compare the effect of sugar cane honey, ferrous sulfate oral solution and control on hemoglobin concentrations, and anemia prevalence in preschoolers. Methods: In a cluster-randomized clinical trial, we evaluated preschoolers aged 24-36 months. Intervention lasted 16 weeks. Children were cluster randomized to either sugar cane honey once daily (group A), 6mg/kg elemental iron once weekly (group B), or control (Group C). Primary outcome variables were change in hemoglobin concentration and anemia prevalence. Two biochemical evaluations were performed before and after intervention to determine hemoglobin concentrations. Results: Group A: at baseline mean hemoglobin concentration was 11.10±1.29g/dL and 11.60±0.72g/dL after intervention, p=.002; 12 out of 21 participants who were anemic at baseline had normal Hb levels after intervention. Relative risk (RR)=0.63, number needed to treat (NNT)=2. In group B, mean baseline hemoglobin was 11.19±1.42g/dL, and 12.04±0.96g/dL after intervention, p=.0003; 16 out of 20 participants who were anemic at baseline had normal Hb levels after intervention. RR=0.36, NNT=2. In the control group mean baseline hemoglobin was 11.85±0.86g/dL, decreasing to 11.11±0.87g/dL after intervention, p<.0001 with an increase in the number of anemic individuals. Conclusion: Sugar cane honey was as effective as weekly iron supplementation to prevent and treat anemia in preschoolers.

Full Text: PDF     DOI: 10.15640/ijhs.v8n4a6