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What is anaemia?

Topics Covered: Issues related to Health.

What is anaemia?


Context:

Indian women and children are overwhelmingly anaemic, according to the National Family Health Survey 2019-20.

What is anaemia?

  • The condition of having lower than normal number of red blood cells or quantity of haemoglobin.
  • It can make one feel tired, cold, dizzy, and irritable and short of breath, among other symptoms.
  • A diet which does not contain enough iron, folic acid or vitamin B12 is a common cause of anaemia.

Why is anaemia so high in the country?

  • Iron-deficiency and vitamin B12-deficiency anaemia are the two common types of anaemia in India.
  • Among women, iron deficiency prevalence is higher than men due to menstrual iron losses and the high iron demands of a growing foetus during pregnancies.
  • Lack of millets in the diet due to overdependence on rice and wheat, insufficient consumption of green and leafy vegetables, and dominance of packaged and processed foods which are low in nutrition could be the reasons behind the high prevalence of anaemia in India.

Sources: Indian Express.