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Hematology. 2008 Dec;13(6):352-5. doi: 10.1179/102453308X343383.

Prevalence of iron deficiency anemia among adolescent schoolgirls from Kermanshah, Western Iran.

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Department of Pediatrics, Kermanshah University of Medical Sciences, Kermanshah, Iran.


Iron deficiency anemia is a major health problem in developing countries. Anemia reduces physical work capacity and cognitive function and adversely affects learning and scholastic performance in schoolgirls entering adolescence. A cross-sectional study was conducted to determine the prevalence of iron deficiency, iron deficiency anemia and anemia among adolescent school girls aged 14-20 years from 20 different high schools located in three educational areas of Kermanshah, the capital of Kermanshah province in Western Iran. The prevalence of anemia (Hb<12 mg/dl) among adolescent school girls was 21.4%. Iron deficiency using a ferritin level <12 microg/l was found in 23.7% of studied girls. There were 47 girls (12.2%) with iron deficiency anemia (Hb<12 g/dl and ferritin <20 microg/l). Around 57.3% of anemic girls were iron deficient. There were no significant differences between the presence of anemia and the level of education of parents. The mean levels of hemoglobin (Hb), hematocrit (Hct), mean corpuscular volume (MCV), mean cell hemoglobin (MCH) and mean cell hemoglobin concentration (MCHC) in studied adolescent girls from Western Iran were found to be lower than those reported for females aged 12-18 years. In conclusion, regarding the detrimental long-term effects and high prevalence of iron deficiency, iron deficiency anemia and anemia in Kermanshah, Western Iran its prevention could be a high priority in the programs of health system of the country and supplementation of a weekly iron dose is recommended.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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