Anemia--still a major health problem in many parts of the world!

Ann Hematol. 2011 Apr;90(4):369-77. doi: 10.1007/s00277-010-1144-5. Epub 2011 Jan 8.


Anemia is a major global health problem, especially in developing countries. This fundamental health issue still has not been solved and continues to exist affecting the health, quality of life, and working capacity in billions of people all over the world. This paper gives a review on the prevalence and major causes of anemia seen on a global scale. Most cases of anemia are due to iron deficiency, which often work in symphony with folate deficiency and/or vitamin B12 deficiency as well as with infections. More efforts should be dedicated to tackle this massive problem--we have the tools, and we know the ways. Iron fortification of appropriate food items combined with iron supplements in specific population groups has proven to be efficient. Initially, the efforts should be centered on the specific risk groups for iron deficiency anemia, i.e., young children, adolescent females, women of reproductive age, as well as pregnant women and postpartum lactating mothers.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anemia* / etiology
  • Anemia* / physiopathology
  • Anemia* / prevention & control
  • Animals
  • Developing Countries
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Folic Acid / administration & dosage
  • Folic Acid / metabolism
  • Folic Acid Deficiency / complications
  • Folic Acid Deficiency / epidemiology
  • Food, Fortified
  • Humans
  • Iron / administration & dosage
  • Iron / metabolism
  • Iron Deficiencies
  • Nutritional Requirements
  • Public Health
  • Risk Factors
  • Vitamin B 12 Deficiency / complications
  • Vitamin B 12 Deficiency / epidemiology
  • World Health Organization


  • Folic Acid
  • Iron