Anemia on rise in India: SRL Diagnostics report

Keeping in line with the occasion of World Health Day on 7th April, SRL diagnostics released the findings of the survey gleaned from anonymous reports of tests of hemoglobin done at its laboratories across the country from January 2016 to March 2019

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New Delhi: While anaemia is a largely avoided topic, a new report based on an in-house data survey conducted by SRL Diagnostics, has revealed that not only in adults but anemia was prevalent in children also. There was an increasing trend of occurrence of anemia observed with age. The findings of the survey were gleaned from anonymous reports of tests of hemoglobin done at SRL Laboratories across the country from January 2016 to March 2019.

According to the SRL report, anaemia was seen in a whopping 91% of the population aged more than 80 years, 81% of people in age group 61 to 85, 69% in population between age 46 to 60 years, 59% of people in age group 31 to 45, 57% in age group 16 to 30 years and 53% in children and adolescents of 0 to 15 years. Most of the severe cases of anaemia were seen in reports of people above 45 years of age.

Commenting on the findings, Dr B R Das, Advisor and Mentor – R&D and Molecular Pathology, SRL Diagnostics said, “Lower than normal amount of red blood cells and/or hemoglobin in the body can cause some permanent damage to the organ systems in the body . The lesser red cells mean lesser oxygen flowing in the blood and lead to fatigue, pale skin, headaches, irregular heartbeat, and shortness of breath. Other symptoms include unusual mood swings and irritability, and general weakness. The most common cause of anemia, iron deficiency, is relatively easy to treat. Awareness is the key as is the case with most diseases.”

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there are two billion people with anemia in the world and half of the anemia is due to iron deficiency.

There are three levels of anemia categorized by the WHO: mild, moderate, and severe. Of the samples taken in each individual zone, the North zone (69%) had the most anemic population compared to the rest of the zones (64%) of India. Cases of severe anemia were more common North zone (6%) having more prevalence in men (9%) than females (2%). 34% of the people from rest of the zones experienced cases moderate anemia with its occurrence in 35% of males and 26% of females. East zone reflected higher prevalence mild anaemia, whereas gender wise, results didn’t reflect much variation.