What is Anemia and who all are affected by it?


What Do You Mean By Anemia?

Anemia is a condition when there is a decreased number of red blood cells or
hemoglobin in the body. It is the most rising blood issue in the general population.
Hemoglobin is the main component of red blood cells (RBC), which binds with
oxygen and carry it forward.
When we have a few or abnormal red blood cells(1) or hemoglobin in the body, our
body cells will not get enough oxygen. Symptoms include; paleness of skin, fast or
irregular heartbeat, shortness of breath, chest pain, headache, light-headedness.

Different Types of Anemia

More than 400 types of Anemia(2) are known currently, which have been divided into
three groups, on the basis of their causes:
● Anemia due to blood loss (due to any illness, injury, or others).
Due to reduced production of RBC (red blood cells) or the production
of faulty red blood cells.
Due to the destruction of red blood cells.

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On the basis of these groups, anemia is classified into Five categories-

Sickle Cell (Shape of RBC become sickle cell or C cell)
Iron Deficiency (Due to less iron in the body)
Blood-Loss (Due to Excessive Bleeding)
Cooley’s Anemia ( Complete lack of a protein in the hemoglobin)
Pernicious (Inability to absorb Vitamin B12)

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The rate at which population is affected –

It has been estimated that anemia globally affects 1.62 billion people (24.8%,
estimated by WHO), in which the highest prevalence has been seen in
preschool-age children (47.4%) & the lowest is in men (12.7%), the population which
has the greatest number of affected individuals is non-pregnant women (30.2 percentages) anemia symptoms

Population which are at the risk –

Young children:

The requirement of iron in children is high for growth and development, yet many children do not receive their daily recommended value.
Although, in this age group children receive a good supply of dairy, but still this age
the group is deficient inadequate iron and can ultimately have an increased risk of
developing iron-deficiency in later life.

Pregnant women and women in adult phase-

Due to the blood loss during menstruation and greater demand for blood supply during the pregnancy for the developing fetus, women tend to suffer from a higher risk of anemia.

People with illness:

Having a long-term illness (chronic disease) can also increase the risk of anemia. Diseases like; diabetes, kidney disorders, cancer, HIV/AIDS, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) or stomach infections, and some parasitic infections.

Malnourished people:

Malnourishment, frequent infections & disease, plays an important role in the anemia risk for people in developing countries.

Older individuals:

Anemia is an independent risk factor for decreased health-related quality of life in older individuals. That is associated with an increased risk of falls, decreased physical performance, longer and more frequent stays in hospital and increased mortality.

It has been shown in a study (In Southern India) that Iron deficiency bloodlessness is a
a major concern in rural India (70%), maybe due to the high prevalence of vegetarianism and limited access to iron supplements(4), which is majorly seen in
women (despite having increased requirements) and Older age individuals than men
(with lower Hemoglobin concentration)