Author(s): Harishchandra Venkata Yanamandala1, Bonela Sai Kumar2

Lower Respiratory Tract Infection (LRTI) is an inflammation of the airways, pulmonary tissue below the larynx level. Children who are below 5 years of age suffer about 5-6 episodes of LRTI per year on an average.1,2 The largest cause of death in children worldwide is pneumonia. If the haemoglobin level is below 11 g/dL3, then the child is considered as anaemic. In children, LRTIs associated with anaemia occur more commonly than in adults. Pneumonia kills about an estimated 1.1 million children under the age of 5 years old worldwide. It is more prevalent in South East Asia and Africa.3,4,5 Anaemia is a condition in which the number of RBCs is very low to meet the body’s physiologic needs. The most common cause of anaemia is deficiency of iron. In both developing and developed countries, anaemia is a common health problem. This study is a prospective study, which was conducted to assess the low haemoglobin level as a risk factor for developing LRTI in children.
This is a prospective study, which was conducted in 75 children who attended the outpatient unit of Department of Paediatrics, Gitam Institute of Medical Sciences and Research. It was conducted during the period between December 2015 to December 2016. By the symptoms and signs, pneumonia was diagnosed.
Exclusion Criteria- Children who had congenital malformations of chest wall, severe systemic illness and protein malfunction. All children’s height and weight were recorded to assess the nutritional status.
C-Reactive Protein Estimation (CRP) was more than 6 mg/L in 34 (45.3%) patients in the study group, 11 (14.7%) in the control group. Mantoux test was positive for 17 (22.6%) among study group and none in the control group. Pneumonia as per radiological evidence was present in 49 (65.3%) and hyperinflation of lungs in 26 (34.7%) among the study group. X-ray reports were normal in 8 cases (10.7%). Age was not found to be a significant factor, which affects the results in both the groups (p=0.32, 0.41 in the study group and control group). 53 children (70.6%) in the study group and 23 children (30.6%) were anaemic. 57% had Iron Deficiency Anaemia (IDA), 9% had Anaemia of Chronic Infection(ACI) and 4.6% had haemolytic anaemia. 25% among the control group had IDA, 4% had ACI and 1.6% had HA. 60% had a wheezing history in the study group and 38% had asthma history in their family.
In LRTI children, iron deficiency anaemia was significantly found. The anaemic patients were found to be 4 times more susceptible to LRTI. To reduce LRTI, early diagnosis and treatment of anaemia is important.

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