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23.06.2018 | Original Contribution

Teff consumption and anemia in pregnant Ethiopian women: a case–control study

European Journal of Nutrition
Shimels Hussien Mohammed, Hailu Taye, Tesfamichael Awoke Sissay, Bagher Larijani, Ahmad Esmaillzadeh



Teff, an iron-rich staple grain in Ethiopia, is consumed mainly in the form of teff injera (TI). Studies on the association of TI consumption with anemia are limited. We aimed to determine the association of frequencies of TI consumption with anemia, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.


We conducted a hospital-based case–control study involving 592 pregnant women: 187 anemic cases, and 405 non-anemic controls. TI consumption was assessed by a food frequency questionnaire (FFQ). Multiple logistic regression, adjusted for dietary and non-dietary covariates, was performed to determine the relation of TI consumption to anemia status.


We found that a decrease in frequency of TI consumption was significantly associated with an increase in the likelihood of anemia (p-trend = 0.009). Compared with everyday TI consumption, the adjusted odds ratios (AORs) of anemia associated with the other frequencies of teff consumption were 1.50 [95% confidence interval (CI) 0.71, 3.23; p = 0.285] for every other day, 2.13 (95% CI 1.03, 4.41; p = 0.04) for 1–2 times a week, and 3.17 (95% CI 1.62, 6.22; p < 0.001) for once in 2 weeks.


Teff consumption was associated with reduced odds of anemia in pregnant women. Further studies are warranted, including determining the feasibility and effectiveness of TI use for anemia prevention.


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