Differentials in the prevalence of anemia among non-pregnant, ever-married women in Bangladesh: multilevel logistic regression analysis of data from the 2011 Bangladesh Demographic and Health Survey
Rabbani, Md. G
Sayem, Md. A
Hossain, Md. G
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Abstract Background Anemia is one of the most common public health problems globally, and high prevalence has been reported among women of reproductive age, especially in developing countries. This study was conducted to evaluate differentials in the prevalence of anemia among non-pregnant, ever-married women of reproductive age in Bangladesh, and to examine associations with demographic, socioeconomic, and nutritional factors. Methods Data for this cross-sectional study were taken from the 2011 Bangladesh Demographic and Health Survey (BDHS). In a sub-sample of one-third of the households, all ever-married women of reproductive age (15 to 49 years) were selected for the biomarker component of the survey, including anemia. The sample size for our study was 5,293. Data were analyzed using multilevel logistic regression analysis. Results The prevalence of anemia among non-pregnant, ever-married women was 41.3 % (urban: 37.2 % and rural: 43.5 %). Among anemic women, 35.5 % had mild anemia, 5.6 % had moderate anemia, and 0.2 % had severe anemia. Women with no education were more likely to be anemic than those with secondary education (p < 0.01) or higher education (p < 0.01). Undernourished women (BMI < 18.5) were at greater risk of anemia (p < 0.01) compared with normal women, overweight women, and obese women. Anemia was less pronounced among non-pregnant women using contraception (p < 0.05), Muslim women (p < 0.01), and women living in rich households (p < 0.01). Conclusions The prevalence of anemia among non-pregnant, ever-married women in Bangladesh is high. Illiteracy, poverty, and undernutrition are contributing factors.