Six in ten women in India have low haemoglobin levels, reported Metropolis Healthcare based on their recent study including 17,00,000 samples obtained from 36 cities in the country.
The incidence of anaemia was reported highest among the 20-50 age group of women.
Metropolis also tested 11,41,600 samples of girls and women in Mumbai which was also found to correlate with their findings.
The observed trends indicate the prevailing iron deficiency among women in the country. The samples were tested for over a period of two years.
Anaemia is a condition that develops when there is a lack of healthy red blood cells or haemoglobin in the blood.
One of the most common reasons for anaemia is a deficiency of iron which can be taken care of with supplements and good nutrition.
“The most common signs to watch out for anaemia would be lethargy, unexplained fatigue, pale skin and pale eyes,” said Dr Mayur Nigalye, Head of Department, Hematology, Metropolis Healthcare.
In kids, a more severe form of anaemia is characterized by a behaviour called pica where the child builds a tendency to eat dirt, clay and other unusual substances. However, the behaviour disappears once anaemia is cured.
During the study, the team observed that quite often anaemia symptoms are mistaken as the cause of stress and overwork.
Although routine blood tests like complete blood cell (CBC) count can give an overall picture of the status of haemoglobin and red blood cell components, it is important to undergo thorough diagnosis to find out the exact cause of anaemia, emphasises the study.
Other causes of anaemia may include internal bleeding and our body’s inability to absorb iron. Hence, it is important to get diagnosed early on to avoid further complications and correct the condition, at the onset of its detection.
“While iron deficiency induced anaemia and pregnancy are two of the largest causes of mild and moderate anaemia, some cases of severe anaemia may have serious underlying causes, which may affect a person’s quality of life. These include beta-thalassemia, macrocytic anaemia and other chronic diseases with permanent consequences,” said Dr Nigalye.