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It was found that out of 203 adolescent girls, more than half (59%) were anaemic (Hb < 12 gm/dl). The mean (SD) Hb of the participants was 11.3 gm/dl (1.55). Among 119 anaemic girls, majority (48%) were mild anaemic followed by moderately anaemic (45%). Only nine participants had severe anaemia (Hb < 7 gm/dl) [Figure 1 and Table 2].
The mean (SD) Hb of 203 adolescent girls who participated in the study was 11.3 gm/dl (1.55) which was similar to one reported by Rakesh Kumar et al. and Kaur S et al. In the present study, the prevalence of anaemia among adolescent girls found to be 59% which was similar to that reported by NFHS-4 (54%), DLHS-3 (57.9%), Kaur S et al. in Wardha (59.8%) and Kishore S et al. in Uttarakhand (57.1%). Various studies on prevalence of anaemia among adolescent girls reported prevalence ranging from 39% to 90% in different parts of India.[12,15,16,17,18,19,20,21] This vast range of prevalence of anaemia may be due to different methods of haemoglobin estimation, different study settings and different study periods. Few studies had adopted standard method for haemoglobin estimation, thus calling for a uniform prospective study of adolescent population using digital haemoglobinometer with high precision.
In the present study prevalence of mild, moderate and severe anaemia was 48%, 45% and 7% respectively which was similar to one reported by Chandrakumari AS et al. in Tamilnadu and Habib N et al. in Pakistan. DLHS-4 report of Haryana revealed that prevalence of mild and moderate anaemia was 57.9% and severe anaemia was 6.3% among adolescent girls which was supporting our finding. However, in our study prevalence of mild, moderate and severe anaemia was higher compared to various studies by Premlatha T et al. in Chennai, Siva PM et al. in central Kerala, Kumar A et al. in Jorhat, Agrawal A et al. in Udupi and Patil N et al. in North Karnataka. This difference in findings may be due to different cut-off used to classify anaemia in different studies. We observed that early adolescent age group girls were more anaemic than late adolescent (84% vs 16%). Whereas other studies reported higher prevalence of anaemia among late adolescent than early adolescent.[12,13,15,16,19] The high prevalence of anaemia among early adolescent age group in our study may be due to the small sample size of our study and low number of participants in late adolescent age group.
In this study, problem of anaemia was more prevalent among underweight girls than normal girls (p < 0.001). This result is consistent with studies conducted by Kaur S et al. in Wardha, Kumar A et al. in Jorhat, Basu S et al. in Chandigarh, Mengistu G et al. in North West Ethiopia, Tura MR et al. in West Shewa, Ethiopia and Fentie K et al. in Southwest Ethiopia. We found that adolescent girls who were vegetarian by diet had statistically significant proportion of anaemia than girls taking mixed diet (p < 0.001). Similar finding was reported by Kumar A et al. and Agrawal A et al. among adolescent girls of Jorhat and Udupi respectively. Kaur S et al. in their study conducted in Wardha found that vegetarian adolescent girls had higher odds of becoming anaemic than adolescent girls who consume non-vegetarian diet (OR: 8.5, 95% C.I: 5.7, 12.8). This can be explained by fact that meat products, poultry and fish have haem iron which is superior to non-haem iron found in rice, cereals etc., in terms of absorption and bioavailability. In the present study, adolescent girls who undergone the deworming had lower prevalence of anaemia than girls who did not undergo deworming during national deworming days (p < 0.001). Kaur S et al., Siva PM et al. and Mengistu G et al. in their study found that history of worm infestation was strong predictor of anaemia. This draws attention toward more effective implementation of national deworming d