Factors associated with anemia among female adult vegetarians in Malaysia.

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Factors associated with anemia among female adult vegetarians in Malaysia.

Nutr Res Pract. 2019 Feb;13(1):23-31

Authors: Chai ZF, Gan WY, Chin YS, Ching YK, Appukutty M

BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVES: A large number of studies on anemia have focused mostly on pregnant women or children. The vegetarian population, which is another potential risk group for anemia, remains largely unexplored. Therefore, this cross-sectional study examined the associations of the sociodemographic, lifestyle, nutritional, and psychological factors with the anemia status among female adult vegetarians.
SUBJECTS/METHODS: A total of 177 female vegetarians were recruited from a Buddhist and Hindu organization in Selangor, Malaysia. The participants completed a self-administered questionnaire, which analyzed their sociodemographic characteristics, physical activity level, sleep quality, depression, anxiety, and stress. The body weight, height, waist circumference, and body fat percentage of the participants were also measured. A 3-day dietary recall was conducted to assess their dietary intake. Blood samples (3 ml) were withdrawn by a nurse from each participant to determine the hemoglobin (Hb) level.
RESULTS: The findings revealed 28.2% of the participants to be anemic. The age group (AOR = 2.46, 95% CI = 1.19-5.05), marital status (AOR = 2.69, 95% CI = 1.27-5.71), and percentage of energy from protein (AOR = 5.52, 95% CI = 1.41-21.65) were the significant predictors of anemia.
CONCLUSIONS: Anemia is a public health problem among female vegetarians in this study. Health promotion programs that target female adult vegetarians should be conducted to manage and prevent anemia, particularly among those who are married, aged 50 and below, and with an inadequate protein intake.

PMID: 30788053 [PubMed]

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