What are the WHO criteria for a diagnosis of anemia in children and adults?

Updated: Nov 26, 2019
  • Author: Joseph E Maakaron, MD; Chief Editor: Emmanuel C Besa, MD  more...
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The World Health Organization (WHO) criterion for anemia in adults is a hemoglobin (Hb) value of less than 12.5 g/dL. Children aged 6 months to 6 years are considered anemic at Hb levels less than 11 g/dL, and children aged 6-14 years are considered anemic when Hb levels are less than 12 g/dL. The disadvantage of such arbitrary criteria is that a few healthy individuals fall below the reference range, and some people with an underlying disorder fall within the reference range for Hb concentration.

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