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Indian Journal of Community Medicine

Prevalence of Anaemia in Adolescent Girls Belonging to Different Economic Group

Author(s): R. Gawarika, S. Gawarika, A.K. Mishra

Vol. 31, No. 4 (2006-10 - 2006-12)

R. Gawarika, S. Gawarika, A.K. Mishra

Introduction

Prevalence of anaemia is very high in India particularly among pregnant and lactating women, and preschool children1. Limited data on the prevalence of anaemia among adolescent girls in western M.P. show very high prevalence2,3. Present study was undertaken to find out prevalence of anaemia among adolescent girls of Ujjain city belonging to different socioeconomic groups.

Materials and Methods

A school based survey was carried out. Four government and four private schools were selected randomly from northern and southern part of the city. Students of the government schools belong to the weaker economic group and students of the private schools belong to the middle or higher middle income group.

Girl students who had written permission of their parents were selected for the study. Total 459 girls from government schools and 455 girls from private schools participated in the study.

Demographic and socioeconomic information were collected using pretested questionnaire. Actual age of the students was recorded from school registers

Weight of the girls were recorded using ATCO digital personal weighing Scale. The height of the students were recorded using height measuring rod. Age of the adolescent girls were calculated in years, months and days. The recorded weights were compared with National Council for Health Statistics (NCHS) reference standards and adolescent girls were classified into PEM grades using Indian Academy of Pediatrics classification.

20 microliters of finger prick blood samples were collected using standard micropipettes on watman No.1 filter paper. Identification particulars of adolescent girls were noted down on all filter papers. Papers were dried in shade and place in an envelope. Heamoglobin estimation was done by cyanmethemoglobin method.

Results

The ages of the adolescent girls ranged from 10.5-18 years. The overall percent prevalence of anaemia among the adolescent girls of weaker economic group was 96.5% and among girls of middle or higher middle income group was 65.18%. The prevalence of severe anaemia among the adolescent girls of weaker income group was 11.0%.and among girls of middle or higher income group was 2.63%.

Table I: Prevalence of Anaemia in Adolescent Girls of Weaker Economic and Middle Income Group

Degree of
Anaemia
Middle
Income group
n=455
Weaker economic
Group
n=459
Severe Anaemia
Hb. <8.0 g/dl
2.63 11.00
Moderate Anaemia
Hb. <10 g/dl
16.02 42.48
Mild Aneamia Hb.
<12g/dl
46.37 42.91
Normal
Hb> 12g/dl
27.83 3.71

In both of the groups we fi nd higher percent prevalence of severe anaemia among girls more than 14 years of age as compared to those < 14 years of age. In weaker economic group the percent prevalence of severe anaemia among girls above 14 years was 13.49% and among girls below 14 was 4.23%. Similarly in middle income group prevalence of severe anaemia among girls of age >14 years was 5.28% and among girls <14 years of age was 0.7%. There is significant association between percent prevalence of anaemia and age of the adolescent girls. (Table II)

Table II: Anaemia in Adolescent Girls with Age and Income Group.

Degree of
Anaemia
Middle Income
Group
Weaker Income
Group
Age <14
Years
n=260
Age >14
Years
n=195
Age <14
Years
n=118
Age >14
Years
n=341
Severe Anaemia
Hb. <8.0 g dl
Moderate Anaemia
0.7 5.2 4.2 13.4
Hb. <10 g /d1
Mild Aneamia Hb.
9.2 21.1 42.2 42.5
<12g /dl
Normal
50.0 45.0 48.3 41.0
Hb> 12g./dl 40.0 27.8 5.0 2.9

Percent prevalence of severe anaemia was highest (17.3%) among adolescent girls of labour group in weaker class (p <0.05) and was significantly associated with father’s occupation.

Education of mothers of adolescent girls is significantly associated with prevalence of anaemia in middle or higher middle income group.In this group prevalence of severe anaemia was 7.5% highest among all groups.(p<0.05) No such significant association was found in weaker economic group.

Percent prevalence of Anaemia increases with increasing grading of malnutrition but this association is not statistically significant.

Discussion

Over all prevalence of anaemia was 96.5 and 65.18% and prevalence of severe anaemia 11.0% and 2.63% in weaker and middle income group respectively. Other studies on the prevalence of anaemia in adolescent girls represent 22.0-85.3% prevalence4. Higher percent prevalence of anaemia among adolescent girls were also reported from other countries.

In both groups percent prevalence of severe anaemia was higher in girls of age 14 and above as compared with that of age group <14 years of age. Higher prevalence in this age group may be due to menstruation effect. Other investigators had reported similar finding5. Low dietary iron, poor bioavailability, high fiber and negligible quantity of vitamin C combined with continued blood loss with each menstrual cycle may be the cause of higher prevalence in this age group.

In lower economic group we find significant association between anaemia and occupation of father. The higher prevalence in labour group is refl ection of economic condition of the family.

In middle or higher middle income group mother’s education was significantly associate with percent prevalence of anaemia. Educated mothers may be more aware of the nutritional requirements of the children and take proper care of food and other nutritional requirement of the girl.

References

  1. Toteja G.S, Padam Singh, Dhillan BS and Sexena BS. Micronutrient deficiencies disorder in sixteen districts of India. ICMR task force study. District nutrition project 2001.
  2. Gawarikar R, Gawarikar S and Triathi CB. Prevalence of anaemia in adolescent girls of Ujjain western India. The Ind. J. of Nutrition and Dietetics. Vol 39111 Nov. 2002
  3. In “RCH-2 Madhy Pradesh; Ujjain, Reproductive and Child Health Project District Level survey-2002. International Institute of Population Science, Murnbai.. Page 63-69.
  4. Rajarathan J. Rajaratahn A. and et. al “ Pravalence of Anaemia in Rural Girls of Tamil Nadu.” Ind. Pediatrics. 2000; 37, 532- 536.
  5. Vasanthi G. Pavse AB. Susie H, Sujatha T, Raman L, Iron Nutritional Status of adolescent Girls from Rural area and Urban slums. Ind. Pediatrics. 1994; 31: 117-132

Govt. Girls College and R. D. Gardi Medical College, Ujjain. Received: 22.6.05

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