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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 25-28

The prevalence of iron deficiency anemia in a Saudi University female students

College of Medicine Taibah University, Almadinah Almunawwarah, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Nora Nasir Al Hassand
College of Medicine Taibah University, Almadinah Almunawwarah
Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.1016/j.jmau.2014.11.003

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The study aims to determine the prevalence of anemia in apparently healthy university female students. This study was conducted in 2007–2008 at Taibah University and a total of 268 female students participated in this research. In order to assess iron deficiency and iron deficiency anemia, the venous blood samples were collected from consecutive female students at the medical center of Taibah University excluding those already on iron supplementation for iron-deficiency anemia. One hundred and seventy-one (64%) students were found to be anemic. The overall prevalence of mild (10–11 g/dL), moderate (7–10 g/dL), and severe (Hb <7 g/dL) anemia was 45%, 49%, and 6%, respectively. Out of the anemic students, 81% showed microcytic (MCV <80 fL) and 1.6% had macrocytic (MCV >96 fL) variety. The results of this study warrant further evidence-based surveys on a larger scale to validate these findings and eventually set a stage to develop well-organized educational and nutritional programs to safeguard and improve the nation’s health. The high prevalence of iron deficiency anemia in the present study might be related to life style of female students as well as to their dietary habits. It is recommended that female students never skip breakfast as it is essential for their cognitive functions and physical activities.

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