Background: food insecurity is a major concern in homeless population, however nutritional consequences remain poorly documented, especially for children. The objective of this study was to assess the prevalence of anaemia and to investigate the relation between both food insecurity and dietary intake to moderate-to-severe anaemia (MSA) in homeless sheltered children. Methods: in 2013, a cross-sectional survey was conducted on a random sample of 801 sheltered homeless families in the Paris region. Haemoglobin concentration was measured in 630 mother/child dyads and questionnaires administrated to mothers collected socio-demographic, socioeconomic, health and dietary data. Factors associated with MSA were analysed in two stratified child age groups; 0.5 5 and 6 12 years old. Results: anaemia was detected in 39.9% of the children and 50.6% of the mothers, and MSA in 22.3% and 25.6%, respectively. In both age groups, MSA was positively associated with maternal MSA. In the 0.5 5 years group, it was also positively associated with child food insecurity, no cooking facilities and household monthly income. In the 6 12 years group, it was positively associated with household food insecurity and children's age. Conclusion: a higher food insecurity score was associated with greater prevalence of moderate-to-severe anaemia in children. Considering the high prevalence of anaemia among homeless mothers and their children, these findings highlight the need for reducing food insecurity in shelters so as to prevent anaemia in this vulnerable population.
Auteur : Arnaud A, Lioret S, Vandentorren S, Le Strat Y
European journal of public health, 2018, vol. 28, n°. 4, p. 616-624