Micronutrient deficiencies and nutritional status

Prior work has shown that deficiencies of micronutrients contribute to the global disease burden of young children and that interventions to prevent these deficiencies are identified as highly effective strategies for public health action.  As this work continues, it is important to fully delineate the magnitude and nature of disease and disability burden attributable to deficiencies of iron and iodine, which have not been comprehensively reviewed since the WHO WHR 2000. Further, deficiencies of other micronutrients, such as folic acid, contribute to the global disease burden, but no work has been completed to document that nature and magnitude of this burden.  It is also important to compile and present the evidence on the effects of childhood undernutrition (underweight and stunting) on cognitive development and adult health states or work performance.  In addition, the approaches to assessing these outcomes as a consequence of stunting need to be done in a comparable way for micronutrient deficiencies with consideration of possible overlap in the risk factors. This activity aims to:

(1) Estimate global and region-specific prevalences of iodine deficiency, iron deficiency and anemia, and folate deficiency; 

(2) Estimate the risks for death and disability (morbidity, mortality, cognition, in neonates, children and women) associated with each deficiency globally and by region;

(3) Estimate the disease burden attributable to these micronutrient deficiency conditions globally and by region;

(4) Estimate the effects of childhood undernutrition (underweight and stunting) on cognitive development;

(5) Estimate the effects of childhood undernutrition (underweight and stunting) on adult health states/work performance.

(6) Update/revise estimates of burden for zinc and vitamin A deficiencies as warranted.

Methods and Expected Products

After literature reviews have been conducted and suitable data sets for analysis have been identified, a micronutrient collaborative group will be formed to plan analyses.  This group will be reconvened after initial analyses have been conducted to provide feedback on analyses and interpretation of results.  To the extent possible, updated/new estimates of the attributable burden by world sub-regions due to deficiencies of these micronutrients will be produced and published by mid-2010.

Related Publications
Global iodine status in 2011 and trends over the past decade. Andersson M, Karumbunathan V, Zimmermann MB. Journal of Nutrition. 2012 Apr; 142(4):744-50.

Update on iodine status worldwide. Zimmermann MB, Andersson M. Curr Opin Endocrinol Diabetes Obes. 2012 Oct;19(5):382-7

Maternal Mortality, Child Mortality, Perinatal Mortality, Child Cognition, and Estimates of Prevalence of Anemia due to Iron Deficiency. Laura E. Murray-Kolb. (2012). Baltimore: CHERG.

Prevalence of iodine deficieince in Europe in 2010. Zimmermann, Michael B and M Andersson (2011). Annales d’ Endocrinologie (Paris).  72(2): 164-166.

Julia Kaufmann
Julia is 34 years old and has studied nutritional sciences. She specializes in nutrition, health and fitness. To this end, she passionately analyzes the new trends in nutritional supplements, evaluates them under the strictest regulations and does her best to help other people feel better about life.


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