A three-year-long analysis by a diagnostic laboratory has found that Vitamin D deficiency and anaemia are common conditions among women across India.
The study, which was conducted by SRL Diagnostics, a pathological lab with centres all across India, was conducted on women of all age groups who underwent a preventive health check-up at the laboratory.
The study found that 59% of the women were anaemic, while seven out of 10 women, who did the health check-up, had Vitamin D deficiency, which is known to cause osteoporosis or bone density loss.
“Exposure to sunlight is the only way to help your body get Vitamin D naturally. If one does not spend time in the sun, there is a high risk of developing the deficiency,” said Dr Duru Shah, a gynaecologist from South Mumbai.
Shah said, “Vitamin D supplements should be consumed only under the doctor’s supervision as excess of it can lead to toxicity in the body.”
The report stated that prevalence of anaemia was higher in northern and southern India. Vitamin D deficiency was found to be highest among women residing in southern and eastern parts of the country.
Doctors said such difference in deficiencies across geographical limits could largely be a reason for the varied dietary patterns and lifestyle.
In fact, 31% of the women were found to have abnormal lipid or cholesterol levels and another 28% were either diabetic or pre-diabetic. Any abnormality in lipid levels can result in thickening of arteries and thereby lead to heart problems, said doctors.
“The report should not raise any alarm as it’s just the hidden burden of these conditions. It only re-emphasises the need for medical screening in order to detect these conditions early in life,” said Dr Shashank Joshi, endocrinologist, Dr LH Hiranandani Hospital, Powai.