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Asia Pac J Clin Nutr. 2015;24(2):253-9. doi: 10.6133/apjcn.2015.24.2.09.

Anemia in Cambodia: a cross-sectional study of anemia, socioeconomic status and other associated risk factors in rural women.

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Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, Canada. Email:
Department of Population Medicine, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, Canada.
Phum Prek Thom Sangkat Kbal Koh, Khan Mean Chey, Phnom Penh, Kingdom of Cambodia.
Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, Canada.


in English, Chinese

Iron deficiency and associated anemia are severe public health problems, which are prevalent in the developing world. We conducted a cross-sectional survey, comprised of written interview questions and laboratory analysis of blood biomarkers, in Kandal Province, Cambodia. The objective of this study is to examine possible factors that are associated with anemia in rural Cambodia. Data on socioeconomic status, water source/treatment practices, and meat consumption was also collected. Of the 297 women surveyed, 51.2% were anemic. Of those women found to be anemic, iron deficiency was implicated in 9.7% of cases (SF <15 ng/L), with an additional 18.5% reported to be borderline iron deficient (serum ferritin=15-30 ng/L). Meat consumption was very low, with nearly one-half of the women consuming meat one time per month or less. This study highlights the multi-faceted etiology of anemia in Cambodia and emphasizes the need for comprehensive nutrition surveying in order to better inform prevention and treatment programming and policy development.

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