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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 147  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 268-277

Time trends in prevalence of anaemia in pregnancy

Nutrition Foundation of India, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr Prema Ramachandran
Nutrition Foundation of India, C 13, Qutab Institutional Area, New Delhi 110 016
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijmr.IJMR_1730_16

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Background & objectives: The prevalence of anaemia in pregnancy in India is among the highest in the world. In the last two decades, several national surveys have estimated haemoglobin levels in pregnant women. In this study, data from these surveys were analyzed to find out changes, if any, in prevalence of anaemia in pregnancy. Methods: National and State-level estimates on the prevalence of anaemia were tabulated from the reports of the National Family Health Survey (NFHS) 2, NFHS 3, Fact Sheets of NFHS 4 and District Level Household Survey (DLHS) 2. Unit level data from DLHS 4 and Annual Health Survey Clinical Anthropometric and Biochemical component (AHS CAB) were obtained and State level prevalence of different grades of anaemia was estimated. Time trends in the prevalence of anaemia and different grades of anaemia were assessed from these surveys. Results: NFHS 2, 3 and 4 reported relatively lower prevalence of anaemia as compared to DLHS and AHS CAB. There was not much change in the prevalence or severity of anaemia between NFHS 2, 3 and 4. There was substantial reduction in the prevalence and severity of anaemia in all States except Uttarakhand between DLHS 2 and 4 and DLHS 2 and AHS CAB. Interpretation & conclusions: There was a reduction in the prevalence and severity of anaemia in the last 15 years. The two-pronged strategy of increasing iron intake (dietary diversification and use of iron-fortified iodized salt) in all the population and testing, and detecting and treating pregnant women with anaemia will accelerate the pace of reduction in anaemia.

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