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Anaemia among the inhabitants of a rural area in northern Natal.

Mayet FG; Schutte CH; Reinach SG
S Afr Med J 1985 Mar 23;67(12):458-62

Haematological and parasitological investigations were carried out on apparently healthy subjects in a rural area of Natal. Anaemia was highly prevalent and of a moderate to severe degree (haemoglobin value less than 11,0 g/dl) in 42% of males and 52,5% of females. In 50% of subjects the anaemia was hypochromic and iron deficiency appeared to be the major contributing factor. However, failure to utilize iron, giving rise to hypo-chromia, was not excluded as a complicating factor. Subnormal serum vitamin B12 levels were found in some subjects, and this frequently coexisted with iron deficiency. The presence of parasites was not considered to have contributed to the production of anaemia. It was concluded that the anaemia was to a large extent nutritional in origin.

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