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Publication date: 
October 8, 2013


Previous studies of anemia epidemiology have been geographically limited with little detail about severity or etiology. Using publicly available data, we estimated mild, moderate and severe anemia from 1990 to 2010 for 187 countries, both sexes, and 20 age groups. We then performed cause-specific attribution to 17 conditions using data and resources from the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries and Risk Factors (GBD) 2010 Study. Global anemia prevalence in 2010 was 32.9%, causing 68.36 (95% CI 40.98 - 107.54) million years lived with disability (8.8% of total for all conditions; 95% CI 6.3-11.7%). Prevalence dropped for both sexes from 1990 to 2010, though more for males. Females' prevalence was higher in most regions and age groups. South Asia and central, west, and east sub-Saharan Africa had the highest burden, while east, southeast, and south Asia saw the greatest reductions. Iron-deficiency anemia was the top cause globally, though ten different conditions were among the top three in regional rankings. Malaria, schistosomiasis, and chronic kidney disease-related anemia were the only conditions to increase in prevalence. Hemoglobinopathies made significant contributions in most populations. Burden was highest in children under 5 years old, the only age groups with negative trends from 1990 to 2010.


Kassebaum NJ, Jasrasaria R, Naghavi M, Wulf SK, Johns N, Lozano R, Regan M, Weatherall D, Chou DP, Eisele TP, Flaxman SR, Pullan RL, Brooker SJ, Murray CJL. A systematic analysis of global anemia burden from 1990 to 2010. Blood. 2013 Dec. DOI: 10.1182/blood-2013-06-508325.