Prevalence and determinants of iron deficiency anemia among non-pregnant women of reproductive age in Pakistan

Type Journal Article - Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Title Prevalence and determinants of iron deficiency anemia among non-pregnant women of reproductive age in Pakistan
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2013
Background and Objectives: Iron deficiency Anemia (IDA) in women of reproductive age
is a recognized public health concern that impairs health and well-being in women and is
associated with adverse reproductive outcomes. In Pakistan there is a dearth of up-to-date
information on the prevalence and predictors of IDA. This study sought to investigate IDA in
women using data from a nationally representative cross-sectional nutrition survey. Methods
and Study Design: Secondary analysis was performed using the National Nutrition Survey in
Pakistan 2011- 2012. We used a pre-structured instrument to collect socio demographic,
reproductive and nutritional data on women. We also collected anthropometric measurements
and blood samples for micronutrient deficiencies. Data analyses were performed by applying
univariate and multivariate techniques using logistic regression. Results: A total of 7491
non-pregnant women aged between 15-49 years were included in the analysis. The
prevalence of IDA was 18.1%. In the multivariate regression analysis; not using iron folic
acid supplementation during the last pregnancy AOR (95% CI) 1.31 (1.05, 1.64), a history of
four or more pregnancies AOR (95% CI) 1.30 (1.04, 1.60), birth interval of <24 months AOR
(95% CI) 1.27 (1.06, 1.71), household food insecurity AOR (95% CI) 1.42 (1.23, 1.63) and
presence of clinical anemia AOR (95% CI) 5.82 (4.82, 7.02) were significantly associated
with increased odds of IDA while with obesity AOR (95% CI) 0.60 (0.4, 0.88) showed a
protective effect on IDA. Conclusion: The prevalence of IDA amongst Pakistani women
represents a moderate burden of IDA and is most prevalent amongst women who are not
taking iron folic acid supplementation, having multiple pregnancies and short birth intervals
and those living in areas of food insecurity. To reduce IDA in Pakistani women, the country
needs a multifaceted approach that incorporates iron supplementation, food fortification,
improved family planning services and efforts to reduce food insecurity

Related studies