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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2018  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 148-152

Prevalence and risk factors of iron-deficiency anemia in Saudi female medical students


Department of Physiology, College of Medicine, Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University, Dammam, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Mona Hmoud AlSheikh
Admin Bldg. (400), 2nd Floor, King Fahd University Hospital, Aqrabia, Alkhobar, P.O. Box: 2208 Alkhobar 31952
Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/sjhs.sjhs_79_18

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Introduction: Iron-deficiency anemia (IDA) is quite common in female adolescents and adults worldwide. Despite the higher prevalence of IDA, there is a paucity of research in finding its prevalence and potential causes in young Saudi female population. Thus, the aim of this study was to determine the prevalence and possible causes of IDA in young female medical students and search for risk factors in the studied group. Materials and Methods: One hundred and twenty female students from Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University were selected by randomized sampling whose blood samples were taken to measure their hemoglobin (Hb) and serum ferritin levels. According to the World Health Organization criteria, individuals with Hb <12 g/dL and ferritin <15 ng/mL were considered anemic. The sociodemographic, gynecological, and dietary data were collected from all the respondents with the help of a well-designed 15 items questionnaire. The association between IDA and the potential risk factors was found through Fishers' exact test or Chi-square test. Results: Among the studied group, 38.3% of total population were anemic. Mean Hb ± standard deviation (SD) was found to be 12.6 ± 1.3 and mean ferritin ± SD was 18.9 ± 5.2. No statistically significant correlation (P > 0.05) was found between IDA and the background, gynecological history, and dietary habits of the anemic participants. Conclusions: The higher prevalence rate of anemia among Saudi female medical students (38.3%) was similar to the earlier reports of the Gulf region. Considering the higher ratio of anemic students, iron supplements should be prescribed to the affected youngsters to improve their Hb level.


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