Prevalence of anemia among adults with newly diagnosed HIV/AIDS in China

PLoS One. 2013 Sep 18;8(9):e73807. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0073807. eCollection 2013.


Background: The prevalence of anemia among antiretroviral-naïve HIV-infected patients in China has not been well characterized. We conducted a cross-sectional study to estimate the prevalence of anemia among Chinese adults with newly diagnosed HIV/AIDS.

Methods: One thousand nine hundred and forty-eight newly diagnosed HIV-infected patients in China were selected during 2009 and 2010. Serum samples obtained from each individual were collected to measure hemoglobin levels. Demographics and medical histories were recorded. Factors associated with the presence of anemia were analysed by logistic regression.

Results: Among the 1948 patients, 75.8% were male. Median age was 40 years (range: 18-80 years). The overall prevalence of anemia among HIV-infected patients was 51.9% (51.5% among men, 53.2% among women). The prevalences of mild anemia, of moderate anemia, of severe anemia were 32.4%, 17.0%, and 2.5%, respectively. The prevalence of anemia was higher among ethnic minority patients than among the Han patients (70.9% versus 45.9%). The prevalence of anemia increased with increasing age (49.6%, 53.5% and 60.1% among patients who were 18-39, 40-59, and ≥ 60 years of age respectively) and with decreasing CD4 count (14.0%, 22.4%, 50.7%, and 74.6% among patients with CD4 count of ≥ 350, 200-349, 50-199, and <50 cells/mm(3) respectively). The logistic regression analysis showed that older age, lower CD4 count and minority ethnicity were significantly associated with an increased risk of anemia.

Conclusions: Anemia is highly prevalent among Chinese adults with newly diagnosed HIV/AIDS, but severe anemia is less prevalent in this population. Older age, lower CD4 count and minority ethnicity are associated with an increased risk of anemia.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Anemia / complications
  • Anemia / ethnology*
  • Anemia / pathology
  • CD4 Lymphocyte Count
  • China / epidemiology
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Ethnicity
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / complications
  • HIV Infections / ethnology*
  • HIV Infections / pathology
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Severity of Illness Index

Grant support

This work was supported by Key Research grants from the Ministry of Science and Technolgy, the People’s Republic of China (NO: 2012ZX10001-003, 2011ZX09302-016). Website: The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.