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Open Access Burden of anemia and its socioeconomic determinants among adolescent girls in India

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Background. Anemia is still one of India's major public health problems, especially among adolescent girls.

Objective. To investigate the severity and distribution of anemia among Indian adolescent girls aged 10 to 19 years and its association with socioeconomic and sociodemographic factors.

Methods. The study used data from the District Level Household Survey, round II, 2002–04, conducted under the Reproductive and Child Health Project. Data were collected on hemoglobin along with socioeconomic and sociodemographic factors of the households. The survey covered rural and urban areas of 35 states or union territories. Data from 177,670 adolescent girls were analyzed.

Results. The highest prevalence of anemia (99.9%) was observed in Jharkhand in eastern India. The prevalence in the northeastern states was relatively low. The highest prevalence rates were observed among older girls (15 to 19 years), illiterate girls living in rural areas, girls in illiterate households, girls from households with a low standard of living, non-Christian girls, girls from Scheduled Tribes, girls living in west India, and married girls. The highest percentages of girls with normal hemoglobin were reported among Christian Scheduled Tribes (39.4%) and among girls in northeastern India (40.1%). Analysis by binary ordered logistic regression showed that anemia status did not depend on urban or rural residence or on age.

Conclusions. Enhancement of the economic status of families, especially poor families, is a prerequisite to the amelioration of anemia among adolescent girls. The level of education of the girls is also a major factor.


Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 2009

More about this publication?
  • Established in 1978, the Food and Nutrition Bulletin (FNB) is a peer-reviewed journal published quarterly by the Nevin Scrimshaw International Nutrition Foundation.

    The focus of the journal is to highlight original scientific articles on nutrition research, policy analyses, and state-of-the-art summaries relating to multidisciplinary efforts to alleviate the problems of hunger and malnutrition in the developing world.

    Food and Nutrition Bulletin's 2012 Impact Factor: 2.106

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