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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 201-205

Profile of nutritional anemia and its correlation with serum iron, Vitamin B12, and folic acid level among the tribal population of northern districts of West Bengal, India

1 Department of Pathology, North Bengal Medical College and Hospital, Darjeeling, West Bengal, India
2 Department of Regional Blood Transfusion Centre, North Bengal Medical College and Hospital, Darjeeling, West Bengal, India
3 Department of Pathology, ESI PGIMSR Manicktala, Kolkata, West Bengal, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Bidyut Krishna Goswami
Department of Pathology, North Bengal Medical College and Hospital, Sushrutanagar, Darjeeling, Kolkata, West Bengal
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/amhs.amhs_45_19

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Background and Objective: Nutritional anemia is the most common and easily preventable cause of anemia. No comprehensive data regarding the magnitude of this problem are available in the literature in northern regions of West Bengal where a significant number of tribals inhabit. The present study was undertaken to assess the magnitude of anemia and the status of iron, Vitamin B12, and folic acid deficiency in tribals of North Bengal and to analyze their red blood cell (RBC) morphology. Materials and Methods: A descriptive study done on the individuals during a period of 1 year at North Bengal Medical College. Serum iron, ferritin, total iron-binding capacity, Vitamin B12, and folic acid were measured along with other relevant investigations. Results: Forty-eight out of 88 (54.51%) of the cases were found to be anemic. Thirty-four out of 48 (70.83%) of them had at least one of the nutritional deficiencies. Iron deficiency was most common, seen in 18 (37.5%) of cases. Abnormal hemoglobin was seen in 7 (14.58%), two of which also had nutritional deficiency. In combined iron and folate deficiency, 7 out of 10 (70%) showed microcytic hypochromic morphology and 3 (30%) were dimorphic. Conclusion: Iron and folic acid deficiency is quite common among the tribals of northern region of West Bengal. RBC morphology alone lacks the specificity for the diagnosis of causes. Furthermore, nutritional deficiencies may coexist with abnormal hemoglobin variants, complicating their diagnosis further. A proper clinical, hematological, and biochemical correlation is required for the accurate diagnosis and effective treatment of anemia, highlighting the need for a screening for the causes of anemia in this population.

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