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Revista Ecuatoriana de Neurología

On-line version ISSN 2631-2581Print version ISSN 1019-8113


ZEGARRA-VALDIVIA, Jonathan Adrián  and  VIZA VASQUEZ, Blanca Milagros. Hemoglobin And Anemia Levels In Children: Implications For The Development Of Executive Functions. Rev Ecuat Neurol [online]. 2020, vol.29, n.1, pp.53-61. ISSN 2631-2581.


Anemia is one of the most important health problems in the world. In developing countries; anemia coexists with malnutrition, lack of access to water, and sanitation. In Peru, more than 40% of children have anemia that affects their brain function and cognitive processes during their development, even to adult life.


This study sought (1) to know the levels of hemoglobin and the presence of anemia in children in rural and urban Arequipa, as well as other indicators of physical health, (2) compare the level of development of executive functions between both groups of children, and (3) analyzes of hemoglobin levels predict the cognitive profile.


49 subjects were evaluated (55% from rural area, 46% girls). Both groups begin regular basic education, different weight measurements were evaluated, including hemoglobin (HemoCuer®) and O2 saturation. The executive functions were assessed with the BANFE test.


Disturbing levels of anemia have been found in the rural area of ​​Arequipa, as well as obesity in children in the urban area. Different processes of executive functions, especially from dorsolateral area have been reduced in rural children; despite having a similar educational and socioeconomic level. Finally, we found that hemoglobin levels explained the 27% of the variance; corresponding to the dorsolateral prefrontal score.


Anemia affects the development of executive functions in children, generating tombs consequences in their neurodevelopment.

Keywords : Anemia; BANFE; cognition; executive function; child-population; Peru..

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