Consequences of Anemia Mrs. Anuradha Shekhar Associate Professor HOD of Food Science and Nutrition. Dr. B.M.N College of Home Science (Matunga)
Work Performance and Productivity• Maximum work capacity, work, output and endurance are impaired in an iron deficient state.• Earning capacity of adults is reduced.• The aerobic capacity and physical performance in children is reduced leading to early fatigue.• Low cardio-vascular efficiency scores.• Higher heart rates.• Increased Recovery Pulse rates.• Lower Cognitive Development effect mental concentration which further reduced productivity.• Absenteeism from work.
Complications During Pregnancy• There is an increased requirement of iron during pregnancy making them vulnerable to anemia.• The risks involved are low birth rate babies, pre-term delivery, inadequate pregnancy weight gain, reduced placental size, damage to the placenta.• Infant morbidity and mortality, pre-natal maternal mortality.
Lower Cellular Immunity and Increased Morbidity.• Anemia results in impairment to cell mediated immunity and lymphocyte proliferation response to mitogens in pregnant women.• In young children with heamoglobin less than 10gms/dl had impaired cell mediated immune response and bacterial activity of leucocytes.• Episodes of infectious morbidities increase in anemia.
Compromised Development in Infants and Young Children.• Anemia in the early 2 years of life is associated with delayed psychomotor development and changes in behavior.• Iron deficiency during intra-uterine life or during early weaning leads to depletion of non heam iron in the brain altering certain neuro- transmitters impairing brain development.• Impaired mental and motor development.• Lower scores in IQ tests.• Lower scores in tests involving attention, concentration and memory.• Lowered Cognitive Development.
Complication in Adolescence• Low iron stores in throughout childhood may delay age of menarche.• Cephalopelvic disproportion leads to increased risk of maternal and foetal mortality.• Severe anemia may lead to neurological abnormalities including head ache, irritability, generalized muscle weakness and ischemic attack.• Anemia may also impair immune response.• Lower verbal learning and memory• Decreased mood and ability to concentrate.
Impaired Thermo-Regulation• Studies show that cold tolerance is compromised in iron deficient anemic woman.• Lack of iron may result in lack of adequate stock of the Thyroid hormones which curtails increased cellular metabolism on exposure to cold, leading to increased intolerance.
Child Growth Defects• Anemia may result in growth retardation which can be corrected by giving them iron supplements. Due to its implications on development, growth, health and work output of an individual there is an urgent need to control iron deficiency anemia.
Treatment• A good iron rich diet which should include a liberal portion of dark green leafy vegetables, dry fruits, enriched cereals, non- vegetarian and Vitamin C food.• Supplement of iron salts such as Ferrous Sulphate, Gluconate or Fumerate.• Prophylaxis: Anemia is common is third trimester of Pregnancy, iron and folate needs to be prescribed.