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Research Article

Prevalence of Anemia and its Associated Factors among Adolescent School Girls in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, INDIA

Premalatha T*, Valarmathi S, Parameshwari Srijayanth, Jasmine S Sundar and Kalpana S

Department of epidemiology, Tamil Nadu Dr.M.G.R Medical University, Chennai, India

Corresponding Author:
Premalatha T
Department of epidemiology
Tamil Nadu Dr.M.G.R Medical University
Chennai, India
Tel: 00919894848696
E-mail: [email protected]

Received Date: June 10, 2012; Accepted Date: August 25, 2012; Published Date: August 27, 2012

Citation: Premalatha T, Valarmathi S, Srijayanth P, Sundar JS, Kalpana S (2012) Prevalence of Anemia and its Associated Factors among Adolescent School Girls in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, INDIA. epidemiol 2:118. doi:10.4172/2161-1165.1000118

Copyright: © 2012 Premalatha T, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


Anemia is a major public health problem but mostly ignored whether the country is developing or developed. In developing countries it serves as a primary cause for 40% of maternal death either directly or indirectly. World Health report of 2002 identified anemia as one among the top 10 risks for infant mortality, maternal mortality and preterm birth. During adolescence anemia is more prevalent in both sexes due to growth spurt especially in girls where they are exposed to risk of onset of menarche. Prevalence of anemia is very high in vulnerable groups even in higher socioeconomic status. This stresses the need to investigate the factors associated with the prevalence of anemia. Prevention of anemia is effective when the strategy is focused right from adolescence for their future reproductive life and this will contribute to achieve Millennium Development Goals (MDG).

Objective of the study: To estimate the prevalence of iron deficiency anemia among adolescent school girls in the age group of 13-17 years in Chennai and to study the associated factors.

Study approach: A cross-sectional survey was executed among 400 female school students in the age group of 13-17 years in Chennai. Sociodemographic details, anthropometric measurements were obtained. Haemoglobin was estimated using cyan method. Statistical analysis was done using IBM SPSS (Statistical Package for the Social Sciences).

Study results: The prevalence of anemia was found to be 78.75% among school students. Chi-square statistics shows significant association (p<0.05) of anemia is with type of family, socioeconomic status and diet. In this study 42.5% of girls with BMI<18 were found to be anemic. Linear trend predicts decrease in Hemoglobin with age as a factor if same dietary pattern is followed over the years (Table 1).

Conclusions and recommendations: A high prevalence of anemia is found in female students from nuclear families and whose mothers’ education is low. This study predicts that hemoglobin level tends to decrease as age progresses especially in their maternal life that gives an alarming effect on infant and maternal mortality rates. Health programs for housewives should insist the utilization of easily available and affordable iron rich diet, forming kitchen garden etc. School health programs, antenatal programs should focus on anemia, targeting on individual’s benefit. Strategies on anemia prevention can be formed at primary health care level. Iron fortification of commonly reachable vehicles like salt, sugar can be emphasized which does not demand the individual co-operation. Community awareness should be increased in overall nutritional status of women.

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