India Sees Decline in Cases of Severe Anemia

India is home to one-quarter of patients with severe anemia, but a new report from the country’s Health Management Information System found that incidence of this disorder is on the decline.

Between 2008-2009 and 2017-2018, incidence of severe anemia (defined as a hemoglobin level <7 g/dL) dropped from 11.3% to 3.29%.

The study also demonstrated that instances of severe anemia vary widely across Indian states, which may be related to poverty, climate, genetic predisposition, and other factors.

“This study is important as it provides a comprehensive narrative of the severe anemia situation in the country, encompassing every state and union territory and helps [us] understand how we have fared over the last ten years,” commented Kaustubh Bora, MBBS, MD, a scientist at the Regional Medical Centre of ICMR in Dibrugarh, Assam.

For example, anemia and beta thalassemia syndromes are less prevalent in northeast India than other regions, where the climate favors transmission of malaria and makes people prone to low hemoglobin levels – thereby increasing the likelihood of anemia.

Source: The Wire India, May 30, 2019; Bora K. Temporal trends and differential patterns in the prevalence of severe anaemia in India: observations from country‐wide haemoglobin determinations 2008–2018. Trop Med Intl Health. 2019 April 20. [Epub ahead of print]