Skip to main content

Revisiting WHO Haemoglobin Thresholds to Define Anaemia in Clinical Medicine and Public Health

Current hemoglobin thresholds used to define anemia were originally proposed by the WHO in 1968. Informed by data from studies of predominantly white European and North American populations, these thresholds failed to account for variations such as the method of measurement, geography, race, and age. Recognizing the critical impact these guidelines have in both clinical and public health practice, a group of anemia experts from low-, middle-, and high-income countries convened to assess hemoglobin measurement and anemia definition guidelines. The group aims to develop new guidelines that ensure appropriate standardization of hemoglobin measurements across a range of methods and consider physiological, environmental, and genetic factors in determining appropriate thresholds.

Sant-Rayn Pasricha et al. The Lancet (February, 2018).