Women and Anemia

Women and Anemia
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Anemia, a condition in which the blood is deficient in red blood cells, hemoglobin content, or total volume,1 is a major global health concern impacting both developing and developed nations. While there are numerous classifications and etiologies of anemia, the most significant contributor to the development of anemia is iron deficiency.2 Iron deficiency is the most prevalent nutritional disorder in the world and is the only nutrient deficiency that is also significantly widespread in industrialized countries.3


Women and children are impacted most by anemia, with approximately 818 million pregnant women, non-pregnant women, and young children suffering from the disease.4 Poor nutritional status, increased blood loss during menstruation, and increased blood-supply demands during pregnancy contribute to the increased prevalence of anemia in women.5

  • Anemia impacts more than 30% of the world population.3
  • The prevalence of anemia is higher in women than men.2
  • Anemia contributes to 20% of all maternal deaths.3

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1Meriam Webster Dictionary [Internet]. [cited 2013 Mar 12] Available from: http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/malnutrition

2Worldwide prevalence of anaemia 1993–2005 [Internet]. WHO global database on anaemia. Edited by Bruno de Benoist, Erin McLean, Ines Egli, and Mary Cogswell; ISBN 978 92 4 159665 7. [cited 2013 Mar 12] Available from: http://www.who.int/vmnis/publications/anaemia_prevalence/en/index.html

3WHO website [Internet]. [cited 2013 Mar 12] Available from: http://www.who.int/nutrition/topics/ida/en/index.html

4McLean E, Cogswell M, Egli I, Wojdyla D, de Benoist B. Worldwide prevalence of anemia in preschool aged children, pregnant women and non-pregnant women of reproductive age. [Internet] Available from: http://www.a2zproject.org/~a2zorg/pdf/Worldwide%20Prevalence%20of%20Anemia%20in%20Preschool%20Aged%20Children%20

5WebMD website [Internet]. [cited 2013 Mar 12] Available from: http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/understanding-anemia-basics