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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 15  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 357-362

Comparison of pica in breastfeeding versus artificial feeding in children 2years of age or younger

Department of Community Medicine, College of Medicine, University of Babylon, Hillah, Iraq

Correspondence Address:
Zainab Amer Mousa Al-Malikey
Department of Community Medicine, College of Medicine, University of Babylon, Hillah
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/MJBL.MJBL_84_18

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Background: Pica is the daily compulsive eating of food or nonfood items not part of one's habitual diet or preferences, which is inappropriate to the developmental level. Pica is a distinctive but poorly understood accompaniment of iron deficiency or depletion in some children, although most pica items contain little or no iron. Objectives: The objective of the study is to assess and compare pica in breastfed versus artificially fed children aged 2years or younger in Hilla city, Babylon Province, Iraq. Materials and Methods: This is a descriptive hospital based cross-sectional study which was carried out on a convenient sample of 150 children aged 2-year-old or younger who attended pediatric clinics in three hospitals in Babylon Province in the Center of Iraq who accepted to participate in this study. Results: The study found that the mean age(month) of children with childhood pica is 14.51±4.13 with the mean birth weight(g) is 2812.83±533.18, the gender gap in childhood pica is in favor of male children(69.3%). The study found that almost two-thirds of children with pica were breastfed(68.7%) while the other one-third was artificially fed. The majority of children suffering from pica consumed the material clay(43.3%). The mean of hemoglobin(Hb)(g/dl), total serum iron(μg/dl), and serum ferritin(ng/ml) and which is 8.44±1.50, 7.68±2.36, and 6.36±1.54, respectively. Conclusion: Children with pica had low level of Hb, iron, and ferritin which mimics the hematological picture accompanying iron deficiency anemia. There is a significant mean difference between the type of feeding of children with pica and the birth weight, serum iron, Hb, and serum ferritin. Furthermore, there is a significant association between type of feedings and the following variables: gestational age, onset of pica, birth order, and spacing between births.

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