Anemia associated with acute infection in children

Ami Ballin, Yehuda Senecky, Uri Rubinstein, Edo Schaeffer, Ron Peri, Shlomo Amsel, Maya Vol, Yair Amit, Mona Boaz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Background: The pathogenesis of anemia associated with acute infection in children has not been well delineated. Objectives: To characterize this type of anemia in children with acute infection, mainly in relation to iron status. Methods: These two cross-sectional studies compared the prevalence and severity of anemia between outpatient febrile children and age-matched non-febrile controls. Results: In part 1 of the study, children with acute infection (n=58) had a significant decrease in hemoglobin levels compared with 54 non-febrile controls. Mean corpuscular volume (MCV) did not change this association. Moreover, there was no significant difference in MCV, mean cell hemoglobin or red cell distribution width values between the two groups. Regarding part 2, of the 6534 blood counts obtained in community clinics, 229 were defined as "bacterial infection." Chart survey confirmed this diagnosis. White blood cell level was significantly inversely associated with hemoglobin level (r = -0.36, P < 0.0001). Anemia was significantly more prevalent among children with bacterial infection compared to those without: 21.4% vs. 14.1% (P = 0.002). Mean values of iron status parameters were all within normal limits. conclusions: Acute illness is associated with anemia. The pathogenesis of this anemia does not appear to be associated with disruption of iron metabolism.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)484-487
Number of pages4
JournalIsrael Medical Association Journal
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2012


  • Acute infection
  • Anemia
  • Children
  • Hemoglobin
  • Leukocytes


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