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Open Access Research article

Passive smoking as a risk factor of anemia in young children aged 0–35 months in Jordan

Rathavuth Hong1*, Jose A Betancourt2 and Martin Ruiz-Beltran3

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Global Health, School of Public Health and Health Services, the George Washington University, Washington District of Columbia, USA

2 Academy of Health Sciences, United States Army Medical Department Center & School, Fort Sam Houston, Texas, USA

3 Southwest Washington Medical Center, 400 N.E. Mother Joseph Place, Vancouver, WA 98664, USA

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BMC Pediatrics 2007, 7:16  doi:10.1186/1471-2431-7-16

Published: 10 April 2007



Passive smoking unfavorably affects pregnancy, child birth and child health. Passive smoking associates with still-birth, premature birth as well as acute respiratory infection, asthma, disorder in red blood cell metabolism in children. This study examined the effects of passive smoking on anemia in young children in Jordan.


The analysis based on the information from 740 children aged 0–35 months that were tested for hemoglobin levels included in the 2002 Jordan Population and Family Health Survey. This study used multivariate logistic regression method to analyze the effect of passive smoking on anemia in young children in Jordan, controlling for a number of risk factors and confounding factors for anemia.


Results indicated that independent of other risk factors and confounding factors, anemia in young children was strongly positively associated with exposure to passive smoking from both parents (OR= 2.99, p < 0.01). Severely undernourished children were at higher risk of anemia independent of passive smoking and other risk factors (OR= 5.29, p < 0.05). Children age 24–35 months, children born to mothers age 35–49, and children lived in households with a hygienic toilet facility were less likely to suffer from anemia.


Passive smoking from both parents was strongly positively associated with anemia in young children in Jordan independent of other risk factors and confounding factors. The results support the importance of smoking prevention during and after pregnancy that prevent childhood anemia and others morbidities in young children.