Methodological approaches to estimating global and regional prevalences of vitamin and mineral deficiencies
Report on the joint WHO/US CDC technical consultation, Atlanta, USA, 7-9 December, 2010
WHO has a mandate from the World Health Assembly to produce global estimates of vitamin and mineral deficiencies. Multiple groups have produced global estimates for different purposes, including advocacy, targeting of resources at a global level, monitoring progress over time, understanding the global burden of disease, and country comparisons. These groups used different methodological approaches to develop these estimates of the global burden of vitamin and mineral deficiencies.
The differences in the published estimates for a given micronutrient may be related to the availability of data for priority target groups; differences in the timing of data analysis; variations in geographical distribution of the data; underlying assumptions of the statistical approaches; and the different purposes for which the estimates were made. The inconsistency between the methods and estimates generated has frequently raised questions among Member States and their stakeholders on the most appropriate values to use to describe global or national micronutrient status.
A joint World Health Organization/United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) technical consultation was held from 7 to 9 December 2010 in Atlanta, Georgia, United States of America. Experts in statistical methods, and micronutrient surveillance participated. This meeting report presents brief summaries of the discussions that took place and the background papers prepared for the consultation.