Prevalence and correlates of anemia among adolescents in Nepal: Findings from a nationally representative cross-sectional survey

Binaya Chalise*, Krishna Kumar Aryal, Ranju Kumari Mehta, Meghnath Dhimal, Femila Sapkota, Suresh Mehata, Khem Bahadur Karki, Donya Madjdian, George Patton, Susan Sawyer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Anemia is regarded as major public health problem among adolescents in Low and Middle-Income Countries (LMICs) but there is limited primary data in many countries, including Nepal. This study investigated the prevalence and correlates of anemia in a nationally representative sample of adolescents within the 2014 National Adolescent Nutrition Survey in Nepal. A total of 3780 adolescents aged 10 to 19 years were selected from a cross-sectional survey through multi-stage cluster sampling. Structured interviews, anthropometric measurements and hemoglobin assessments of capillary blood were obtained. Bivariate and multivariable analyses were undertaken to compute the Adjusted Odds Ratio (aOR) for socio-demographic, behavioral and cluster characteristics. The overall prevalence of anemia was 31% (95%CI: 28.2, 33.5), 38% (95%CI: 34.0, 41.8) in female and 24% (95%CI: 20.6, 27.1) in male. The likelihood of anemia was significantly higher among older adolescents (aOR 1.75, 95%CI: 1.44, 2.13), females (aOR 2.02; 95%CI: 1.57, 2.60), among those who walk barefoot (aOR 1.78, 95%CI: 1.08, 2.94), and those residing in the Terai (aOR 1.80, 95%CI: 1.18, 2.77). Food consumption from more than four food groups (aOR 0.71, 95%CI: 0.57, 0.88) was protective against anemia. In conclusion, anemia is common in Nepali adolescents. Efforts to improve the nutritional status of this high-risk age group require nutrition that focus on eating habits, sanitation, iron supplementation and the treatment of hookworm infection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e0208878
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume13
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018

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