Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

INTRODUCTION: Approximately, one in three Peruvian children aged 6 to 59 months old have anaemia. Maternal depression, which may be disabling and affect the proper care of children, is associated with chronic malnutrition in their offspring. Therefore, the aim of this study is to evaluate if there is an association between depressive symptoms of mothers with the presence of anaemia in their children. METHODS: Analytical cross-sectional study of the Peruvian Demographic Health Survey 2015, which is nationally representative. Depressive symptoms were measured with the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9) using a score of 10 as cut-off. The presence of anaemia was measured using HemoCue® and was considered positive when the haemoglobin was less than 11 g/dl. RESULTS: Crude and adjusted prevalence ratios (PR and aPR) were calculated with 95% confidence interval (CI), using generalized linear models of the Poisson family. We analysed 6683 mother-child binomials. The prevalence of anaemia in the children and depressive symptoms in women were 28.7% (95% CI: 27.3-30.2) and 6.9% (95% CI: 6.1-7.9), respectively. We found no statistically significant association between these variables in the bivariable analysis or in the different multivariable models (aPR: 1.05, 95% CI: 0.85-1.30). The sample did not have moderate or severe malnutrition. CONCLUSIONS: There is no statistically significant difference between the prevalence of anaemia in children of mothers with or without depressive symptoms. We recommend continuing research in this field to determine more associate factors to childhood anaemia in order to improve primary prevention interventions. Ideally, conducting longitudinal studies such as prospectives cohorts to determine risk factors should be done.

Original publication




Journal article


Child Care Health Dev

Publication Date



Peru (MeSH NLM), anaemia, children health, depressive symptoms