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Volume 2014, Article ID 176182, 5 pages
Research Article

Prevalence and Severity of Anaemia Stratified by Age and Gender in Rural India

Department of Infectious Diseases, Bathalapalli Rural Development Trust Hospital, Kadiri Road, Bathalapalli, Anantapur District, Andhra Pradesh 515661, India

Received 22 September 2014; Accepted 21 November 2014; Published 4 December 2014

Academic Editor: Aurelio Maggio

Copyright © 2014 Gerardo Alvarez-Uria et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Anaemia is a major public health problem in India. Although nearly three quarters of the Indian population live in rural areas, the epidemiology of anaemia in rural settings is not well known. We performed a retrospective observational study using routine clinical data from patients attending the out-patient clinics of a rural hospital in India from June 2011 to August 2014. The study included 73,795 determinations of haemoglobin. 49.5% of patients were female. The median haemoglobin concentration was 11.3 g/dL (interquartile range (IQR), 9.8–12.4) in females and 12.5 g/dL (IQR, 10.6–14.2) in males. Anaemia was present in the majority of children <10 years, women after puberty, and older adults. Children <5 years had the highest prevalence of anaemia, especially children aged 1-2 years. The high proportion of microcytic anaemia and the fact that gender differences were only seen after the menarche period in women suggest that iron deficiency was the main cause of anaemia. However, the prevalence of normocytic anaemia increased with age. The results of this study can be used by public health programmes to design target interventions aimed at reducing the huge burden of anaemia in India. Further studies are needed to clarify the aetiology of anaemia among older adults.