Prevalence and determinants of iron deficiency anemia among non-pregnant women of reproductive age in Pakistan

Muhammad Atif Habib, Camille Raynes-Greenow, Sajid Bashir Soofi, Noshad Ali, Sidrah Nausheen, Imran Ahmed, Zulfiqar Ahmed Bhutta, Kirsten I. Black

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29 Citations (Scopus)


Background and Objectives: Iron deficiency Anemia (IDA) in women of reproductive age is a recognized public health concern that impairs health and well-being in women and is associated with adverse reproductive outcomes. In Pakistan there is a dearth of up-to-date information on the prevalence and predictors of IDA. This study sought to investigate IDA in Pakistani women. Methods and Study Design: Secondary analysis was performed using the National Nutrition Survey in Pakistan 2011-2012. We used a pre-structured instrument to collect socio demographic, reproductive and nutritional data on women. We also collected anthropometric measurements and blood samples for micronutrient deficiencies. Univariate and multivariate logistic regression were used to analyse the data. Results: A total of 7491 non-pregnant women aged between 15-49 years were included in the analysis. The prevalence of IDA was 18.1%. In the multivariate regression analysis; not using iron folic acid supplementation during the last pregnancy adjusted odds ratio (AOR) (95% CI) 1.31 (1.05, 1.64), a history of four or more pregnancies AOR (95% CI) 1.30 (1.04, 1.60), birth interval of < 24 months AOR (95% CI) 1.27 (1.06, 1.71), household food insecurity AOR (95% CI) 1.42 (1.23, 1.63) and presence of clinical anemia AOR (95% CI) 5.82 (4.82, 7.02) were significantly associated with increased odds of IDA while with obesity AOR (95% CI) 0.60 (0.4, 0.88) showed a protective effect on IDA. Conclusion: To reduce IDA in Pakistani women, the country needs a multifaceted approach that incorporates iron supplementation, food fortification, improved family planning services and efforts to reduce food insecurity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)195-203
Number of pages9
JournalAsia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018


  • Iron deficiency anemia
  • Nationally representative data
  • Non pregnant women
  • Predictors
  • Prevalence


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