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Prevalence of Anemia and Associated Factors Among “Apparently Healthy” Urban and Rural Residents in Ethiopia: A Comparative Cross-Sectional Study

Authors Tesfaye TS, Tessema F, Jarso H

Received 25 November 2019

Accepted for publication 26 February 2020

Published 11 March 2020 Volume 2020:11 Pages 89—96


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Martin H. Bluth

Tinsae Shemelise Tesfaye, 1 Fasil Tessema, 2 Habtemu Jarso 2

1Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, College of Medicine and Health Science, Dilla University, Dilla, Ethiopia; 2Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Jimma University, Jimma, Ethiopia

Correspondence: Tinsae Shemelise Tesfaye
Tel +251910644517

Background: Anemia is the most frequent micronutrient deficiency; globally it has an impact on more than 2 billion people. Different studies have indicated that the prevalence of anemia varies between rural areas and urban centers. This study focused on determining the prevalence and identifying the factors associated with anemia among “apparently healthy” urban and rural residents of Gilgel Gibe Field Research Center.
Methods and Participants: A comparative cross-sectional study was done using secondary data of Gilgel Gibe Field Research Center. Data of 1,602 (1,258 rural and 344 urban) apparently healthy adults whose hemoglobin level was available were included in the analysis. Data were analyzed by SPSS 20 and separate logistic regression models; urban and rural were fitted. Statistical significance was set at p-values < 0.05 with 95% CI.
Results: The overall prevalence of anemia was 40.9%. Anemia was higher among rural residents (46.6%) than urban residents (20.1%). In urban centers, being male (AOR = 2.15, 95% CI: [1.03, 4.50]) and illiterate (AOR = 5.76, 95% [CI: 1.27, 26.07]) were significantly associated with anemia. In rural areas, being female (AOR = 1.78, 95% CI: [1.27, 2.52]), presence of heart disease (AOR = 2.63, 95% CI: [1.09, 6.33]), central obesity (AOR = 1.83, 95% CI: [1.31, 2.57]), illiteracy (AOR = 3.62, 95% CI: [1.57, 8.35]), and primary school completion (AOR = 2.69, 95% CI: [1.08, 6.73]) were significantly associated with anemia.
Conclusion: According to the WHO classification, the overall prevalence of anemia was a severe public health problem. This study also marked urban–rural variation in anemia prevalence, indicating the need for targeting specific areas for intervention. Strengthening strategies aimed at educational empowerment and nutritional education will have a contribution to combating anemia, especially in the rural kebeles of the study area.

Keywords: anemia, risk factors, apparently healthy, Ethiopia

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