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Pakistan Journal of Nutrition
Year: 2007  |  Volume: 6  |  Issue: 4  |  Page No.: 355 - 358

Anemia and Iron Intake of Adult Saudis in Riyadh City-Saudi Arabia

Abdullah H. Al-Assaf    

Abstract: The aim of this study was to evaluate iron deficiency anemia among adult healthy Saudi males and adult healthy non-pregnant Saudi females in Riyadh City, Saudi Arabia. 234 healthy adults were recruited of which, 102 were females and 132 were males. Male subjects were reclassified to cigarette smokers (n = 52) and non-smokers (n = 80). Anemia was assessed by dietary iron intake, hemoglobin and hematocrit levels. Iron intake was measured by analyzing the intake of three consecutive days. The results showed that iron intake, hemoglobin and hematocrit levels were significantly higher in males compared to females. Mean iron intake of males (13.6±3.1 mg/day) was adequate compared to DRI recommendation. Mean concentrations of hemoglobin (15.89±0.95 g/dL) and hematocrit (47.7±3.6%) for males were normal. Hemoglobin and hematocrit levels were significantly higher in smokers compared to non-smokers, but both were normal, which suggested that iron deficiency anemia is not found among adult Saudi males. Mean iron intake of females (10.2±2.8 mg/day) was inadequate compared to DRI recommendation. Mean hemoglobin level (13.68±0.83 g/gL) and mean hematocrit level (38.9±3.2%) of females were lower than cutoff values for determining iron deficiency anemia. Based on hemoglobin and hematocrit values, 21.6% and 20.6% of female participants, respectively were anemic. Based on iron intake, 95.1% of female participants had intake lower than the recommendation. Results of this study illustrated that iron deficiency anemia is highly prevalent among adult Saudi women in Riyadh City and suggests actions to eradicate iron deficiency anemia. These actions include increasing nutritional awareness and education for the purpose of changing inappropriate consumption patterns as well as fortification of certain foods in combination with additional intakes of iron from supplements.

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