Annals of Hematology

, Volume 90, Issue 4, pp 369–377 | Cite as

Anemia—still a major health problem in many parts of the world!

  • Nils MilmanEmail author
Review Article


Anemia is a major global health problem, especially in developing countries. This fundamental health issue still has not been solved and continues to exist affecting the health, quality of life, and working capacity in billions of people all over the world. This paper gives a review on the prevalence and major causes of anemia seen on a global scale. Most cases of anemia are due to iron deficiency, which often work in symphony with folate deficiency and/or vitamin B12 deficiency as well as with infections. More efforts should be dedicated to tackle this massive problem—we have the tools, and we know the ways. Iron fortification of appropriate food items combined with iron supplements in specific population groups has proven to be efficient. Initially, the efforts should be centered on the specific risk groups for iron deficiency anemia, i.e., young children, adolescent females, women of reproductive age, as well as pregnant women and postpartum lactating mothers.


Anemia Anemia, iron deficiency Developing countries Folic acid deficiency Helminthiasis Malaria Vitamin B12 deficiency 



This study was supported by a grant from Abbott International Pharmaceuticals, Dublin, Ireland.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Clinical BiochemistryNaestved HospitalNaestvedDenmark

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