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Int J Hematol. 2006 Oct;84(3):217-9.

Prevalence of anemia among healthy women in 2 metropolitan areas of Japan.

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Division of Exploratory Research, The Institute of Medical Science, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo, USA.


Anemia is common among young women, and iron deficiency is one of the leading causes. In Europe and the US, the iron fortification of flour increased oral iron intake and decreased anemia prevalence from 30% to 10%. The National Nutrition Survey in Japan revealed that anemia prevalence among young Japanese women is increasing; however, no nationwide preventive policy has been aimed at iron deficiency anemia. The endpoint of this study was the estimation of anemia prevalence among healthy Japanese woman, based on a large sample size. We collected data from the consecutive check-up examination records of apparently healthy women (n = 13,147). We defined hemoglobin lower than 12 g/dL as anemia, hemoglobin lower than 10 g/dL as severe anemia, and a mean corpuscular volume lower than 80 fl as microcytic anemia. Of the 13,147 persons, anemia was identified in 2331 (17.3 %), and severe and microcytic anemia in 438 (3.3 %) and 700 (5.2 %), respectively. Among women younger than 50 years, anemia was identified in 22.3 %, and 25.2 % of them had severe anemia. In conclusion, the prevalence of anemia and severe anemia among young women is high in Japan. Some action needs to be considered to improve women's quality of life.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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