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October 2022

Am J Clin Nutr. 1986 Nov; 44(5): 643-52.

Iron status of predominantly lacto-ovo vegetarian East Indian immigrants to Canada: a model approach.

Bindra GS, Gibson RS.

Iron status of East Indian predominantly lacto-ovo vegetarian immigrants (59 males, mean age 37.7 +/- 10.5 yr; 55 females, mean age 33.3 +/- 7.4 yr) was assessed using dietary and biochemical-iron indices, including a Tri-index (TI) model. Iron deficiency was higher among females than males: 33% vs 5%, respectively, via the TI model (serum ferritin, serum-transferrin saturation, and mean corpuscular-hemoglobin concentration) and 18-42% vs 2-22%, respectively, via individual biochemical-iron indices. Rates of anemia calculated via the TI model in combination with low hemoglobin and mixed-distribution analysis (MDA) were similar and higher for the females (TI + Hb = 16%; MDA = 12%) than for the males (TI + Hb = 5%; MDA = 3%). High prevalence among females was attributed to low available iron intakes, concomitant with high intakes of dietary fiber, phytate, and tannins. We recommend the TI-model approach to estimate relative prevalence of iron deficiency in small surveys.

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