Prevalence of anaemia and its association with body mass index among undergraduate students of a medical college of Haryana
Background: Nutritional anaemia is the most common nutritional problem worldwide. Underweight and anaemia are associated and together constitute a serious problem in developing countries like India. Anaemia has an adverse effect on work performance and productivity and results in reduced success among students. Aims & Objectives: The present study was conducted to estimate the prevalence of anaemia among medical students and determine its association with their body mass index (BMI). Material & Methods: Hemoglobin estimation was done in 140 MBBS students by Sahli's Haemoglobinometer and anaemia status was determined by WHO criteria for anaemia. Height and weight of the students were measured for BMI calculation and interpreted using cutoffs for Asian Indian population. Data was analysed by SPSS software and the chi-square test was applied to determine the association between different variables. Results: The overall prevalence of anaemia in medical students was 55.7% and 78.6% females compared to only 32.9% males were anaemic (p<0.001). A statistically significant association of gender with the severity of anaemia (p=0.028) and BMI (p=0.036) was observed. Prevalence of anaemia was higher in underweight students (88.9%) compared to normal (54.2%) and overweight/obese (46%) students and the difference was statistically significant (p=0.007). However, the association of BMI with the severity of anaemia was statistically not significant (p=0.985). Conclusion: Anaemia is significantly associated with nutritional status. As underweight students have a higher prevalence of anaemia than normal and overweight/obese students, they require management of undernutrition along with anaemia treatment for quick and better restoration of health.