Anemia is the most common disorder of blood in the world. About 70-80% of women in child bearing age are estimated to have this condition in developing countries.

According to a survey conducted by FHI (Family Health International), it's prevalence in young girls aged between 12-18 years is 82.9% - in girls going to school and 92.7% among girls not going to school. If this condition is corrected early in life, it would help to reduce Maternal Mortality Rate (MMR) and Infant Mortality Rate (IMR).


It is defined by the below-normal level of hemoglobin or hematocrit in human blood.

Hemoglobin is the substance in red blood cells that carries oxygen to all parts of the body.

This condition can be temporary or it can be a long term disease or illness. People with mild condition may not have any symptoms or may have only mild symptoms. People with severely low hemoglobin can feel tired, get short of breathe with activity, and have problems doing the things they usually do. If allowed to persist, this condition can have serious consequences, affecting both quality and length of life. But when this condition is identified, appropriate treatment can help to correct hemoglobin level and manage it efficiently.


It varies with gender and age. Both hemoglobin and hematocrit values are used to define this condition. These laboratory values are obtained from a CBC (complete blood count) test, performed at a laboratory.

The normal range of hemoglobin value is -

  • 14.0 gm per dL to 17.4 gm per dL for adult men and
  • 12.3 to 15.3 gm per dL for non-pregnant women.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) hemoglobin should be less than 12 gm per dL for non-pregnant women and less than 13 gm per dL for men to confirm this condition.

  • The normal average hematocrit for adult males is 46%, and the range is 40% to 52%.
  • For adult females, the normal average hematocrit is 41% and the range is 35% to 47%.

Values that fall below the lower limits indicates this condition and needs quick medical attention and further testing.

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