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Nepal Med Coll J. 2011 Mar;13(1):1-6.

Health status of married women residing five communities in Nepal: unexpectedly high prevalence of anemia in a well-off community of Kathmandu.

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Department of Human Ecology, University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan.


The high prevalence of anemia and underweight among reproductive age women is a serious health concern in Nepal. The objective of the present study was to describe anemia prevalence and nutritional status of married women in Nepal. Total of 278 women were included in the present analysis. The five communities included an urban commercial area (W) in Kathmandu, an agricultural village (K) in Lalitpur District, an agricultural village in Chitwan District (C) and one in Ilam District (I) with intensive cash cropping, and another rural village in Kaski District (P) with high number of international out-migration of males. The study procedure included anthropometric measurements, blood collection for hemoglobin measurement, and stool collection for examination of hookworm infection, and a structured interview on their reproductive history including contraceptive use. The altitude adjusted prevalence of anemia was 65%, 23%, 16%, 49% and 58% in communities C, I, K, P and W respectively. The hookworm prevalence of each community was not associated with the anemia prevalence. In the urban well-off community W, although 38% of the women had BMI > or = 25 and only 2% of women had BMI<18.5, 58% of the women were anemic. A logistic regression analysis on the anemia risk at the individual level showed no effect of helminth infection, but a significant negative effect of Depo-Provera (depot-medroxyprogesterone acetate) use. Causes of high anemia prevalence among the women resided in the urban well-off area should be investigated in future studies.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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