Symptoms-Based Evaluation of Iron Deficiency Anemia in Students of Bahawalpur Correlated with their Eating Habits
Purpose: To conduct a symptoms-based evaluation of iron deficiency anemia (IDA) in university and colleges students of Bahawalpur- Pakistan and correlate the data with their eating habits.
Methods: A cross-sectional survey was accomplished using a questionnaire for the assessment of IDA among 500 students enrolled in the Islamia University of Bahawalpur and two affiliated colleges in Bahawalpur, Pakistan. Symptoms-based evaluation was carried out to obtain the results.
Results: The results showed that 41.2 % (206 students) of the 500 students were anemic. The proportion of anemic females and males was 65.53 % (135) and 34.46 % (71), respectively. Of the 206 students, 96.11 % (198) were below the age of 25 years, 83.96 % (173) in official hostels, 52.42 % (108) belonged to families of average socioeconomic status, 77.18 % (159) suffer from short-term memory, and 47.08 % (97) were unaware of IDA. The most commonly observed symptoms were flattened brittle nails, dizziness, and fatigue after physical activity, 88.83 % (183); presence or absence of glosittis 87.37% (180); ringing in the ears, 84.46 % (174); headache, 62.62 % (129); frequent minor infections, 46.60 % (96); shortness of breath, 40.29 % (83); taste disturbance, 35.92 % (74); ice cravings, 22.33 % (46); and angular stomatitis 18.97 % (39).
Conclusion: An unexpectedly large number of female students exhibit symptoms of IDA due to poor nourishment. Findings from this survey can be used in awareness programs to increase academic performance in young adults and to eliminate IDA.
Keywords: Iron deficiency Anemia, Students, Eating habits, Awareness programs
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