ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Know Your Asthma Triggers
Molecule in Skin May Link Eczema and Asthma
'Safe' Ozone Levels May Not Be for Some
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Indian Spice May Thwart Liver Damage
Taking the Mystery Out of Hypnotherapy
Birds Don't Miss a Beat
ANIMAL CARE
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
BONES & JOINTS
Using a Balloon to Repair a Broken Back
Tai Chi May Help Ward Off Knee Pain in Seniors
Resistance Training Boosts Mobility in Knee Arthritis Patients
CANCER
Massage Therapy Helps Those With Advanced Cancer
Selenium, Omega-3s May Stave Off Colorectal Cancer
Multiple Screening Strategy Boosts Cervical Cancer Detection
CAREGIVING
With Age Comes Greater Risk of Hypothermia
Simpler Sleep Apnea Treatment Seems Effective, Affordable
High Rate of Rehospitalizations Costing Billions
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Obesity Linked to Heart Failure Risk
Drink a Little Wine, Live a Little Longer
Exercise Extends Life of Kidney Patients
COSMETIC
Study Evaluates Laser Therapies for Hair Removal
With Psoriasis, the Internet May Offer Hope
Science May Banish Bad Hair Days
DENTAL, ORAL
Gum Disease Might Boost Cancer Risk
Holistic Dentistry-My View
Gum Disease May Reactivate AIDS Virus
DIABETES
Coffee, Tea Might Stave Off Diabetes
Drug May Not Help Diabetes-Related Eye Damage
Chamomile Tea May Ward Off Diabetes Damage
DIET, NUTRITION
Successful Weight Loss Shows Unique Brain Patterns
Go Healthy, Not Hungry for Holiday Eating
Potassium-Rich Foods May Cut Stroke, Heart Disease Risk
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Household Insecticides May Be Linked to Autoimmune Diseases
Smog Standards Need Tightening, Activists Say
Chemicals in Carpets, Non-Stick Pans Tied to Thyroid Disease
EYE CARE, VISION
Omega-3 Foods May Lower Eye Disease Risk
Contact Lens Cases Often Contaminated
It's a Whole New Outlook for Cataract Patients
FITNESS
Super Bowl Loss Can 'Kill' Some Fans
Be Healthy, Spend Less
When It Comes to Lifting, the Pros Have Your Back
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Peppermint Oil, Fiber Can Fight Irritable Bowel
Soothing Imagery May Help Rid Some Kids of Stomach Pain
New Yogurt May Ease Stomach Ulcers
GENERAL HEALTH
Parents Influence Sex Decisions, Hispanic Teens Say
Any Old Cane Won't Do
Green Spaces Boost the Body and the Mind
HEAD & NECK
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Study Suggests Link Between Cell Phones and Brain Tumors
Magnet Therapy May Ease Hard-to-Treat Depression
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Obese People Seem to Do Better With Heart Disease
Relaxation Tapes or Mozart Lower Blood Pressure
Psychiatric Drugs Might Raise Cardiac Death Risk
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
The HPV Vaccine: Preventative Medicine or Human Sacrifice?
Older Adults May Have Some Immunity to Swine Flu
More Medicinal Uses for Pomegranate
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Heart Defects in Newborns Linked to Antidepressants
St. John's Wort Doesn't Work for ADHD
Traffic, Dust Linked to Asthma in Kids
MEN'S HEALTH
Physical Activity May Prolong Survival After Colon Cancer
The Dark Side of Vegetarianism
Lots of Sex May Prevent Erectile Dysfunction
MENTAL HEALTH
Drink Away Dementia?
Positive Brain Changes Seen After Body-Mind Meditation
Fear Response May Stem From Protein in Brain
PAIN
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Woman in America Are Delaying Motherhood, Study Says
Heart Defects in Newborns Linked to Antidepressants
Sugary Colas Tied to Gestational Diabetes
SENIORS
A Little Alcohol May Stave Off Alzheimer's
Seniors Cope With Sleep Loss Better Than Young Adults
Older Adults May Have Some Immunity to Swine Flu
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
Meditation May Help Put Primary Insomnia to Bed
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Mom and Baby Alike May Benefit From Exercise
Exercise As Well As Acupuncture, May Ease Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
Add your Article

Anemia Rates Down for U.S. Women and Children

MONDAY, Dec. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Fewer American women and children are developing anemia, according to a new U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report.

But the researchers can't pinpoint reasons for the improvement.

The report found that rates of anemia in children dropped by more than half, from 8 percent to less than 4 percent. And among women the rates declined from nearly 11 percent to about 7 percent.

"The positive news is that anemia prevalence has gone down. Anemia has been associated with impaired cognitive development in children, and possibly impaired cognition in women," said the study's lead author, Sarah Cusick, a micronutrient specialist with the CDC in Atlanta.

"We tried to assess what possible causes of anemia might have contributed to the decline. There are many different causes of anemia -- some are nutritional, while others can be caused by inflammation. What we found was that none of those possible causes could account for the significant decline we saw in U.S. women and children. This was an unexplained decline," Cusick said.

Results of the study were published in the December issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Anemia is a condition in which there's a lower-than-normal number of red blood cells in the blood. Symptoms can include fatigue, chest pain and shortness of breath, according to the U.S. National Institutes of Health.

To assess the rates of anemia, Cusick and her colleagues compared two datasets from a large, nationally representative trial, the National Health and Nutritional Examination Surveys (NHANES). The first dataset included information from 1988 to 1994 and the second contained information from 1999 through 2002.

The rate of anemia in children was 8 percent for the first survey and 3.6 percent for the second. For women, the rate of anemia was 10.8 percent during the first study period and 6.9 percent during the second.

The prevalence of iron deficiency anemia didn't drop significantly for either women or children. However, folate deficiency dropped in women during the two time periods from 4.1 percent to 0.5 percent, according to the study. Data on folate deficiency anemia in children wasn't included in the study.

One of the biggest nutritional changes that occurred during the two study periods was the addition of folic acid to breads, cereals and other grain products in the United States. But, Cusick said, even the introduction of folic acid-fortified foods didn't explain the drop in anemia prevalence.

One concerning point the study raised was the disparity in anemia rates between minority women and white women. Although anemia rates declined among black and Hispanic women, the prevalence of the condition still remained much higher in these groups. Nearly one in four black women was anemic, as were nearly 9 percent of Hispanic women. This compared to 3.3 percent of white women.

"The fact that about 25 percent of black women between 20 and 49 years of age are anemic should be considered a public health crisis," Dr. Donald Mahoney Jr., a professor of pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, wrote in an accompanying editorial in the journal.

Both Cusick and Mahoney said access to health care may be one of the issues contributing to the higher rates among minority women. Cusick said poor nutrition may also play a role.

"It's encouraging to see that the overall prevalence of anemia is declining in women and children, though certainly, as the authors clearly imply, there are still some important gaps that require additional study and intervention," Mahoney said.

-Serena Gordon

More information

To learn more about anemia, visit the U.S. National Library of Medicine.



SOURCES: Sarah Cusick, Ph.D., micronutrient specialist, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta; Donald H. Mahoney Jr., M.D., professor of pediatrics, Baylor College of Medicine, and director, hemophilia/thrombosis center, Texas Children's Cancer Center and Hematology Service, Houston; December 2008, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition

Last Updated: Dec. 08, 2008

Copyright 2008 ScoutNews, LLC. All rights reserved.

More articles at www.eholistic.com