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
- 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.
- Preschool children and women of reproductive age are particularly affected by anemia.
- Iron-deficiency anemia is the dominant cause (60%) of anemia globally and in most populations, though there are important contributions from multiple other causes.
- Other important causes of anemia include hemoglobinopathies, infections, chronic kidney diseases, gastrointestinal and gynecologic conditions. Patterns vary with respect to age, sex, and geography.
- 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.