Public Health Nutrition

Research Article

Risk factors for iron-deficiency anaemia among pregnant women living in rural Vietnam

Ritsuko Aikawaa1a4 c1, Ngyen C Khana2, Satoshi Sasakia3 and Colin W Binnsa4

a1 Institute for International Cooperation, Japan International Cooperation Agency, Tokyo, Japan

a2 National Institute of Nutrition, Hanoi, Vietnam

a3 National Institute of Health and Nutrition, Tokyo, Japan

a4 School of Public Health, Curtin University of Technology, GPO Box U1987, Perth, Western Australia 6845, Australia


Objective To assess the prevalence of anaemia in rural Vietnam and to determine its risk factors.

Design A cross-sectional survey.

Setting Vietnam, Nghe An Province.

Study population The total number of participants was 439. Of these participants, one was excluded from the study due to a mental disorder. Forty-seven did not participate in the test for parasites and 68 did not complete at least one of the questions.

Results The prevalence of anaemia (haemoglobin (Hb) < 11.0 g dl−1) was 43.2% and of severe anaemia (Hb < 8.0 g dl−1) was 0.5%. Taking iron tablets, the consumption of eggs and the preference for Western medicine significantly and positively correlated with Hb concentration in the pregnant women in a multiple regression analysis. Pregnancy duration and hookworm infestation significantly and negatively correlated with Hb concentration in the pregnant women.

Conclusion The prevalence of anaemia in rural Vietnam has remained as high as that found in the national anaemia survey in 2000. The results of the present study could aid in the development of an iron-deficiency anaemia programme among pregnant women in rural Vietnam that emphasises iron supplementation, parasite control and improved diet, including the consumption of eggs. The programme's focus should be on women who prefer traditional medicine to Western medicine.

(Received September 16 2004)

(Accepted July 18 2005)


c1 *Corresponding author: Email