The Global Burden of Anemia

Nicholas J. Kassebaum, MDa,b,*, on behalf of GBD 2013 Anemia Collaborators

 

KEYWORDS: Anemia, Iron-deficiency anemia, Burden of disease, Hemoglobinopathies, Nutrition, Hemoglobin, Global health

 

KEY POINTS

  1. Anemia burden is high, affecting 27% of the world’s population—1.93 billion people—in 2013. Developing countries account for more than 89% of the burden.
  2. Preschool children and women of reproductive age are particularly affected by anemia.
  3. Iron-deficiency anemia is the dominant cause (60%) of anemia globally and in most populations, though there are important contributions from multiple other causes.
  4. Other important causes of anemia include hemoglobinopathies, infections, chronic kidney diseases, gastrointestinal and gynecologic conditions. Patterns vary with respect to age, sex, and geography.
  5. Individual- and population-level interventions aimed at reducing burden should take into account the context-specific epidemiology of anemia to maximize effectiveness and avoid potential harm.

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