Prevalence of Iron-deficiency Anaemia among University Students in Noakhali Region, Bangladesh|
Shill, Kumar B; Karmakar, Palash; Kibria, Md. G.; Das, Abhijit; Rahman, Mohammad A.; Hossain, Mohammad S. & Sattar, Mohammad M.
Iron-deficiency anaemia (IDA) is a common health problem in rural women and young children of Bangladesh.
The university students usually take food from residential halls, and the food value of their diets
is not always balanced. This cross-sectional study was conducted to estimate the prevalence of irondeficiency
anaemia among the university students of Noakhali region, Bangladesh. Haemoglobin level of
300 randomly-selected students was measured calorimetrically, using Sahli’s haemoglobinometer during
October to December 2011. Statistical analysis was done by using SPSS software for Windows (version 16)
(SPSS Inc., Chicago, IL, USA). In the study, 55.3% students were found anaemic, of whom 36.7% were male,
and 63.3% were female. Students aged 20-22 years were more anaemic (43.4%) than other age-groups.
Majority (51.3%) of male students showed their haemoglobin level in the range of 13-15 g/dL, followed
by 26.0% and 21.3% with 10-12 g/dL and 16-18 g/dL respectively. Although 50.5% anaemic and 51.1%
non-anaemic female students showed normal BMI—lower percentage than anaemic (60.7%) and nonanaemic
(71.9%) male students, the underweight students were found more anaemic than the overweight
and obese subjects. Regular breakfast-taking habit showed significant (p=0.035, 95% CI 0.5-1.0) influence
on IDA compared to non-regular breakfast takers. Consumption of meat, fish, poultry, eggs, or peanut
butter regularly; junk food; multivitamins; and iron/iron-rich food showed insignificant (p=0.097, 95% CI
0.5-1.1; p=0.053, 95% CI 1.1-2.3; p=0.148, 95% CI 0.6-1.2; and p=0.487, 95% CI 0.7-1.4 respectively) role
in provoking IDA. In the case of non-anaemic subjects, all of the above parameters were significant, except
the junk food consumption (p=0.342, 95% CI 0.5-1.2). Our study revealed that majority of university
students, especially female, were anaemic that might be aggravated by food habit and lack of awareness.
The results suggest that anaemia can be prevented by providing proper knowledge on the healthful diet,
improved lifestyle, and harmful effect of anaemia to the students.
Iron-deficiency anaemia; Prevalence; University students; Bangladesh