2018, VOL. 4 ISSUE 1, PART C
Anaemia is a major global problem affecting between 20-70%of the population in various countries. In India it is an important public health problem affecting people from all walks of life. The disease is of particular significance in school children, adolescent and pregnant women because of high prevalence and the adverse functional consequences. Anaemia is also directly and indirectly responsible for 10-20% of maternal deaths, high incidence of premature births and intrauterine malnutrition.
Anaemia is most common in adolescent girls to the tune of 20-25% irrespective of the social class. Angular stomatitis and glossitis are more common in poor classes because of the poor quality of diet and non-availability of healthy foods. In higher classes personal likes and dislikes and food taboos lead to anaemia. Recent World Health Organisation (WHO) statistics indicate a worldwide anaemia prevalence of about 50% with higher rates in developing countries, adolescent and pregnant women are the most affected group with an estimated global prevalence of about 40% and 50% respectively.
Anaemia is very wide spread, more among females than males and higher among adolescents, sever anaemia (with Haemoglobin levels <8g. /dl) is more frequently seen in severely undernourished adolescents who also exhibit signs associated with deficiencies of calories, proteins, vitamins and minerals. This article will review the procedure for taking a history, determining the etiology, and creating awareness about anemia among adolescents.