Study of anemia among adolescent school girls and young adults

Anil Kumar, Akhilesh Goyal, Niket Verma, Ashwin Mahesh


Background: The world’s adolescent population (age 10–19 years) is estimated to stand at more than 1 Billion, yet adolescents remain largely neglected, difficult-to-measure, and hard-to-reach. Population in which the needs of adolescent girls, in particular, are often ignored. Anemia during adolescence limits growth and delays the onset of menarche, which in turn may later lead to cephalopelvic disproportion. In armed forces young serving soldiers make the backbone of forces, anemia in this group affects man hour badly. So, study was planned to assess prevalence of anemia in these two groups.

Methods: A prospective study was carried out with 340 girls and 500 serving adults and prevalence of anemia was carried out with respect to different prevailing factors.

Results: The prevalence of severe, moderate and mild anemia in girls was 0.5%, 10.6% and 27.9% respectively and in serving soldiers prevalence of anemia was 1.8%, 2.8% and 3.4 % respectively.

Conclusions: In the present study, the prevalence of anemia was found to be 39% in adolescent girls and 8% in serving soldiers. Strongest predictor to anemia in adolescent girls was history of excessive menstrual bleeding and vegetarian diet. Age group, age at menarche and BMI did not affect anemia prevalence. Strongest predictor to anemia in soldiers was age.


Adolescent girls, Anemia, Soldiers

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