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Asia Pac J Clin Nutr. 2012;21(2):171-81.

Anemia in Cambodia: prevalence, etiology and research needs.

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Department of Biomedical Science, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, Canada.


Anemia is a severe global public health problem with serious consequences for both the human and socio-economic health. This paper presents a situation analysis of the burden of anemia in Cambodia, including a discussion of the country-specific etiologies and future research needs. All available literature on the prevalence and etiology of anemia in Cambodia was collected using standard search protocols. Prevalence data was readily identified for pre-school aged children and women of reproductive age, but there is a dearth of information for school-aged children, men and the elderly. Despite progress in nation-wide programming over the past decade, anemia remains a significant public health problem in Cambodia, especially for women and children. Anemia is a multifaceted disease and both nutritional and non-nutritional etiologies were identified, with iron deficiency accounting for the majority of the burden of disease. The current study highlights the need for a national nutrition survey, including collection of data on the iron status and prevalence of anemia in all population groups. It is impossible to develop effective intervention programs without a clear picture of the burden and cause of disease in the country.

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