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Iron deficiency anemia status in Iranian pregnant women and children: an umbrella systematic review and meta-analysis

Iron deficiency anemia (IDA) is a global health challenge, especially affecting females and children. We aimed to conduct an umbrella systematic review of available evidence on IDA’s prevalence in Iranian pregnant women and children. We searched the Web of Science, Science Direct, PubMed, Scopus, and Google Scholar databases for articles published by April 2023. Meta-analyses investigating the status of IDA in Iran were included. The findings of seven meta-analyses comprising 189,627 pregnant women with a mean age of 26 and 5,890 children under six years old were included in this study. The methodological quality of each study was evaluated with the Assessment of Multiple Systematic Reviews (AMSTAR2) instrument. We estimated the prevalence of IDA at 15.71% in pregnant women and 19.91% in young children. According to our subgroup analysis of pregnant women, IDA’s prevalence in urban and rural regions was 16.32% and 12.75%; in the eastern, western, central, southern, and northern regions of Iran, it was estimated at 17.8%, 7.97%, 19.97%, 13.45%, and 17.82%, respectively. IDA is common in young children and pregnant females and is a significant public health concern in Iran. The present umbrella review results estimated that Iran is in the mild level of IDA prevalence based on WHO classification. However, due to sanctions and high inflation in Iran, the prevalence of anemia is expected to increase in recent years. Multi-sectoral efforts are required to improve the iron status of these populations and reduce the burden of IDA in the country.

BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth Dehghani et al. May 2024
  • Middle East and North Africa
  • Research
  • Case study
  • Scientific publication