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One in two women likely to be anaemic in India, reveals study

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A comprehensive study done by Metropolis Healthcare, one of India’s leading pathology labs, has revealed that over 50 per cent women in India are likely to be anaemic, highlighting a worrying trend that needs to be addressed urgently.

“There is a lack of awareness on the types of anaemia. All types get bundled under iron deficiency but the root cause may be severe and life threatening,” said Dr Anita Suryanarayan, Vice President, Operations (South India), Metropolis Healthcare Ltd.

According to the study, anaemia is one of the most common conditions observed in Indian women. “But it is not just about hemoglobin as we have found out from data analysis of over 2,18,200 samples. Over 50 per cent of the samples, i.e., 1,08,845 samples were found to be anaemic,” the study authors said.

“As high as 8.4 per cent of our samples point to Beta Thalassemia which is a serious genetic disorder. This is especially important to screen because it is hereditary and kids with Beta Thalassemia may fail to thrive and grow normally. We urge all women to undergo thorough screening and seek medical help if their symptoms indicate anaemia, Dr Suryanarayan said.

Of the 1,08,845 samples that were found to be anaemic, 90.4 per cent were mildly anaemic, 9 per cent were moderately anaemic, while 0.6 per cent pointed to severe anaemia.

Anaemia is a condition that develops when there is a lack of enough healthy red blood cells or hemoglobin in the blood.
Hemoglobin is a main part of red blood cells and binds oxygen. If one has too few or abnormal red blood cells or if hemoglobin is abnormal or low, the cells in the body will not get enough oxygen. Symptoms of anaemia like fatigue occur because organs aren’t getting what they need to function properly.

There are many types of anaemia and each of them different in their causes and treatments. Iron-deficiency anaemia, the most common type, is easily treatable with changes in diet and iron supplements.

Mild anaemia that develops during pregnancy is even considered normal. However, some types of anaemia may present lifelong health problems.

Commenting on the study, Dr Rajesh Bendre, Chief of Laboratory Services, Metropolis Healthcare Ltd said, “There are many different types of anaemia. While a routine blood tests like complete blood count give an overall picture on the status of Hb and Red Blood Cell components, it is important to undergo a thorough diagnosis to find out the exact cause of Anaemia.

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