What is the prevalence of anemia in the US?

Updated: Oct 08, 2018
  • Author: Joseph E Maakaron, MD; Chief Editor: Emmanuel C Besa, MD  more...
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Answer

The prevalence of anemia in population studies of healthy, nonpregnant people depends on the Hb concentration chosen for the lower limit of normal values. The World Health Organization (WHO) chose 12.5 g/dL for both adult males and females. In the United States, limits of 13.5 g/dL for men and 12.5 g/dL for women are probably more realistic. Using these values, approximately 4% of men and 8% of women have values lower than those cited. A significantly greater prevalence is observed in patient populations. Less information is available regarding studies using RBC or Hct.


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