Researchers at the University of Newcastle, England, assessed the prevalence of anemia in South Asian (Indian, Pakistani, and Bangladeshi) and Chinese ethnic groups, using data from the Newcastle heart project.
The prevalence of anemia was similar among men of all ethnic groups.
|Higher prevalence of anemia in Asian women compared with Europeans.|
However, anemia was three times more prevalent in South Asian women than in European women, and twice as prevalent in Chinese women than it was in European women.
The team also found that anemia tended to be more common in those who rarely or never ate meat. Interestingly, 87% of British Indians described themselves as vegetarians in a recent survey, add the authors.
Awareness of the link between anemia and diet may be low, say the authors. In a national lifestyle survey, less than 1% of respondents mentioned anemia as a problem related to diet.