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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 126-133

Prevalence of Iron-deficiency anemia and its associated risk factors in female undergraduate students at prince sultan military college of health sciences

1 Department of Clinical Laboratory Sciences, Prince Sultan Military, College of Health Sciences, Dammam, Saudi Arabia
2 Deanship of Postgraduate Studies and Research, Prince Sultan Military, College of Health Sciences, Dammam, Saudi Arabia
3 Department of Medical Laboratory, King Fahad Military Medical Complex-Dhahran, Dammam, Saudi Arabia
4 Department of Medical Laboratory, King Fahad Armed Forces Hospital-Dhahran, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Lamiaa Al-Jamea
Department of Clinical Laboratory Sciences, Prince Sultan Military College of Health Sciences, P. O. Box 33048, Dhahran 31448
Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/joah.joah_44_19

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OBJECTIVES: This study's objectives are to (1) determine the current prevalence of iron-deficiency anemia (IDA) and risk factors for female college students at Prince Sultan Military College of Health Sciences (PSMCHS) in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia and (2) address the gap in the current literature. A written survey in both Arabic and English was administrated to 214 female students, and only 201 students completed the survey. It was randomly selected from all registered female students. A number of factors possibly associated with IDA were examined using the Chi-square test. CONTEXT: Globally, iron deficiency is known to be the most common nutritional disorder. About 30% of the world's population are iron deficient (ID). Women seem to be more affected with IDA than men, which constitute an epidemic public health issue. AIMS: The aim of the study was to determine the prevalence of IDA and the risk factors among healthy Saudi undergraduate female college students studying at PSMCHS in Dhahran. SETTINGS AND DESIGN: A cross-sectional study on 201 female students (18–25 years) was conducted between January and March 2019. SUBJECTS AND METHODS: A questionnaire which contains sociodemographic data was completed by each participant. Two blood samples were collected from each participant to estimate the iron profile and to analyze the complete blood counts. STATISTICAL ANALYSIS: The statistical analysis was carried out using the Statistical Packages for the Social Sciences software. RESULTS: The overall prevalence of IDA was 35.3%. The questionnaire analysis of the dietary habit and clinical characteristics revealed that family history of hereditary disease and physical activity have a significant effect on the development of IDA. Statistical analysis showed that having breakfast regularly significantly reduced the development of IDA compared with irregularly having breakfast. CONCLUSIONS: The prevalence of IDA in this study was moderately high, and our results suggest that further education regarding IDA is highly encouraged. This is the first study that demonstrated the prevalence and risk factors of IDA among undergraduate female college students in PSMCHS, and the data generated will provide a database for further studies.

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