Data collected through the study

Total number of women tested- 1000

Prevalence of anemia:80% of the women were anemic. The following table indicates the intensity of anemia detected. Almost 95% of the women diagnosed with anemia complained of tiredness, weakness and occasional breathing problems.

percentage           categories of anemia

50%                     mildly anemic

36%                     moderately anemic

14%                     severly anemic

76% of the women that complained of irregular menstrual cycles or had problems with their menstrual cycle were anemic upon testing- 40% had their Hemoglobin levels below 9g/dl

80% of the women who had had multiple miscarriages were moderately anemic and 10% were severely anemic

Prevalence of anemia among pregnant women: Of the 1500 women that we tested 200 were pregnant women but all barring 23 were anemic (~90%) with their Hemoglobin levels lower than 10g/dl

Prevalence of thalassemia: Upon further testing 10% of the anemic patients turned out to be thalassemia minor. Of these 10%(~150patients) 12 patients had already had a thalassemia major child and were aware of their condition but were not aware of the treatment.

All thalassemic and anemic patients with hemoglobin levels below 9g/dl had experienced occassional chest pain and episodes of fainting from time to time. Most of them had no clue about the reason for these experiences.

Diet: Diet of most of these women was insufficient in most nutrients and many of them had severe vitamin deficiencies. 90% of the women had no idea which food items contained iron but when explained they were very receptive and immediately followed the suggested diet – many of them implemented the changes for their children as well.

It is a wrong notion that Indian women tend to be anemic because most of them follow a vegetarian diet. In fact a large number of women ate meat regularly at least once a day and were still anemic. Studies have shown that vegetarian food like oatmeal, soya bean, dal(lentils), spinach contain more iron than most meat -1 cup of oatmeal has iron equivalent to eating 15 chicken pieces. If these food items can be incorporated into our diet, iron deficiency can be greatly reduced.