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Table 1 Sample characteristics of childhood anemia for the four selected Southern African countries

From: Maternal anemia is a potential risk factor for anemia in children aged 6–59 months in Southern Africa: a multilevel analysis

Characteristic Malawi Mozambique Namibia Zimbabwe
N = 2507 N = 1933 N = 1116 N = 2578
n* (%)** n* (%)** n* (%)** n* (%)**
Childhood anemia (%) 63.8 70.0 49.4 58.6
Exposure variable
 Maternal anemic status
 Nonanemic 1850 (73.3) 934 (46.6) 908 (80.2) 1898 (74.9)
 Anemic 657 (26.7) 999 (53.4) 208 (19.8) 680 (25.1)
Individual-level
 Biofuel smoke exposureβ
 No 17 (0.8) 91 (2.9) 352 (34.3) 552 (21.0)
 Yes 2490 (99.2) 1842 (97.1) 764 (65.7) 2026 (79.0)
Sex of child
 Male 1253 (48.9) 929 (48.5) 533 (47.3) 1299 (49.9)
 Female 1254 (51.1) 1004 (51.5) 583 (52.7) 1279 (50.1)
Child age in months
 6–11 268 (11.4) 247 (13.2) 153 (14.3) 394 (14.8)
 12–23 616 (25.1) 502 (26.0) 294 (25.1) 628 (23.9)
 24–35 579 (22.2) 459 (23.3) 253 (22.4) 627 (24.8)
 36–47 586 (23.0) 377 (19.9) 234 (21.0) 509 (20.5)
 48–59 458 (18.3) 348 (17.6) 182 (17.2) 420 (16.0)
Child’s birth order
 1 498 (20.8) 472 (23.8) 351 (32.6) 832(32.1)
 2 437 (17.8) 347 (17.3) 278 (25.2) 680 (26.1)
 3 405 (16.2) 284 (14.2) 177 (16.1) 449 (17.9)
 4+ 1167 (45.2) 830 (44.7) 310 (26.1) 617 (23.9)
Recent episodes of fever
 No 1590 (62.5) 1658 (84.7) 310 (70.5) 2285 (88.4)
 Yes 917 (37.5) 275 (15.3) 329 (29.5) 293 (11.6)
Recent episodes of diarrhea
 No 2084 (83.5) 1709 (87.3) 868 (76.5) 2158 (83.0)
 Yes 423 (16.5) 224 (12.7) 248 (23.5) 420 (17.0)
Children are stunted
 No 1303 (51.2) 1062 (50.7) 855 (77.2) 1690 (65.5)
 Yes 1204 (48.8) 871 (49.3) 261 (22.8) 888 (34.5)
Children are underweight
 No 2179 (86.8) 1657 (84.0) 976 (87.2) 2304 (89.9)
 Yes 328 (13.2) 276 (16.0) 140 (12.8) 274 (10.1)
Mother’s age in years
 15–24 773 (31.1) 630 (32.8) 337 (28.0) 870 (33.8)
 25–34 1182 (46.6) 817 (41.0) 477(44.7) 1227 (46.9)
 35–49 552 (22.3) 486 (26.2) 302 (27.3) 481 (19.3)
Mother’s educational level
 No education 423 (17.6) 740 (40.2) 86 (5.9) 60 (2.3)
 Primary 1778 (70.5) 993 (52.4) 261 (22.8) 848 (32.1)
 Secondary and above 306 (11.9) 200 (7.4) 769 (71.3) 1670 (65.6)
Total children ever born
 1 361 (15.0) 374 (19.1) 312 (29.2) 703 (27.0)
 2 451 (18.6) 348 (17.5) 286 (26.1) 723 (28.0)
 3 426 (17.6) 305 (14.8) 190 (17.0) 486 (19.4)
 4 403 (14.6) 262 (13.8) 115 (9.7) 308 (11.7)
 5+ 866 (34.2) 644 (34.8) 213 (18.0) 358 (13.9)
Household wealth index
 Poorest 484 (18.7) 431 (28.0) 247 (23.7) 676 (24.4)
 Poor 623 (25.8) 445 (25.3) 244 (21.7) 562 (22.3)
 Middle 610 (23.9) 406 (20.5) 235 (19.2) 501 (20.4)
 Richer 509 (19.3) 415 (18.5) 248 (21.5) 514 (20.2)
 Richest 281 (12.5) 236 (7.7) 142 (13.9) 325 (12.7)
Community-level (clusters)
Place of residence
 Urban 159 (8.2) 407 (17.8) 480 (44.5) 633 (25.1)
 Rural 2348 (91.8) 1526 (82.2) 636 (55.5) 1945 (74.9)
Community maternal anemia
 Low anemia 2020 (79.3) 846 (41.4) 967 (884.2) 2010 (75.7)
 High anemia 487 (20.7) 1087 (58.6) 149 (15.8) 568 (24.3)
Community parity
 Low 913 (38.7) 711 (30.8) 860 (79.1) 1171 (45.3)
 High 1594 (61.3) 1222 (69.2) 256 (20.9) 1407 (52.7)
Community wealth††
 Low 2041 (79.7) 1328 (76.7) 794 (69.8) 1753 (67.8)
 High 466 (20.3) 605 (23.3) 322 (30.1) 825 (32.2)
Community female education§
 Low 585 (24.4) 1230 (66.5) 127 (7.8) 594 (22.8)
 High 1922 (75.6) 703 (33.5) 989 (92.2) 1984 (77.2)
Community distance to HF¥
 Low 686 (30.1) 672 (28.7) 682 (62.9) 1031 (41.0)
 High 1821 (69.9) 1261 (71.3) 434 (37.1) 1547 (59.0)
Community safe water access
 Low 619 (26.3) 1336 (75.6) 434 (19.4) 497 (19.3)
 High 1888 (73.7) 597 (24.4) 922 (80.6) 2081 (80.7)
  1. Note: *unweighted frequency; **weighted percent; βwood, straw, animal dung, and crop residues used as cooking fuels; percent of women with Hb levels less than 12 g/dL; percent of women with fertility rate of 5 children and above; †† percent of households categorized above 60% of wealth index; § percent of women with primary school education and above; ¥ percent of households perceived distance to the nearest health facility as a big problem; percent of household with access to clean and safe drinking water sources specified by WHO/Unicef [34]; HF, health facility