Iron Deficiency and Anemia: A Cycle of Nutritional Deficiency Impacting Women Globally

Iron deficiency (ID) is the most prevalent nutritional deficiency worldwide, significantly affecting women due to increased iron demands during pregnancy and menstruation. This condition often progresses to iron deficiency anemia (IDA), characterized by severe fatigue and cognitive impairments. IDA disproportionately impacts low-income groups who lack access to nutritious food and healthcare.

This article discusses how biological and social factors intertwine to perpetuate the high rates of ID and IDA among women. It describes it as a generational cycle where iron-deficient pregnant women often give birth to iron-deficient children. It also highlights the significant shortcomings in the consistent screening, diagnosis, and treatment of ID and IDA, especially in low and middle-income countries where anemia is most prevalent and healthcare systems are strained. The paper advocates for robust public health strategies and interventions that focus on improving maternal and child health and bridging these systemic gaps.

Reference: Tang GH, Sholzberg M. Iron deficiency anemia among women: An issue of health equity. Blood Rev. 2024 Mar;64:101159. doi: 10.1016/j.blre.2023.101159. Epub 2023 Nov 29. PMID: 38042684.

Related Articles