Genetic hemoglobin disorders rather than iron deficiency are a major predictor of hemoglobin concentration in women of reproductive age in rural prey Veng, Cambodia

The Journal of Nutrition
Crystal D KarakochukTimothy J Green


Anemia is common in Cambodian women. Potential causes include micronutrient deficiencies, genetic hemoglobin disorders, inflammation, and disease. We aimed to investigate factors associated with anemia (low hemoglobin concentration) in rural Cambodian women (18-45 y) and to investigate the relations between hemoglobin disorders and other iron biomarkers. Blood samples were obtained from 450 women. A complete blood count was conducted, and serum and plasma were analyzed for ferritin, soluble transferrin receptor (sTfR), folate, vitamin B-12, retinol binding protein (RBP), C-reactive protein (CRP), and α1 acid glycoprotein (AGP). Hemoglobin electrophoresis and multiplex polymerase chain reaction were used to determine the prevalence and type of genetic hemoglobin disorders. Overall, 54% of women had a genetic hemoglobin disorder, which included 25 different genotypes (most commonly, hemoglobin E variants and α(3.7)-thalassemia). Of the 420 nonpregnant women, 29.5% had anemia (hemoglobin <120 g/L), 2% had depleted iron stores (ferritin <15 μg/L), 19% had tissue iron deficiency (sTfR >8.3 mg/L), <3% had folate deficiency (<3 μg/L), and 1% had vitamin B-12 deficiency (<150 pmol/L). Prevalences of iron deficiency anemia (IDA) were 14...Continue Reading


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