Anemia was most prevalent at more than 50 percent among both boys and girls under two years of age and, thereafter, decreased steadily to 11 years of age to about 15 percent.
Overall, 41 percent of pre-schoolers aged 1-4 years, 24 percent of school-age children aged 5-9 years, and 28 percent of adolescents aged 10-19 years had some degree of anemia.
The survey noted that the severity of anemia varied across age groups. Among pre-schoolers, 22 percent had mild anemia, 18 percent had moderate anemia, and 1 percent had severe anemia.
Among school-age children, 10 percent had mild anemia, 13 percent had moderate anemia, and 1 per cent had severe anaemia. Among adolescents, 17 per cent had mild anaemia, 10 per cent had moderate anaemia and 1 per cent had severe anaemia.
An increased prevalence was observed among older adolescents. Anemia was more prevalent among female adolescents 12 years of age and older at 40 percent compared to their male counterparts at 18 percent.
The prevalence of anemia varied by the schooling status of children and adolescents.
Compared to those currently in school, anemia prevalence was higher among out-of-school children aged 5 to 9 years and adolescents aged 10-19 years.
Additionally, the prevalence of anemia decreased with a higher level of mother's schooling among both school-age children and adolescents.
In all three age groups, anemia was most prevalent among scheduled tribes, followed by scheduled castes. More than half (53 percent) of pre-schoolers and more than one-third of school-age children and adolescents (38 percent each) belonging to scheduled tribes were anemic.
The prevalence of anemia decreased steadily with an increase in household wealth in all three age groups.
Among pre-schoolers, the prevalence of anemia was highest in Madhya Pradesh (54 percent), followed by Haryana (48 percent) and Delhi (47 percent) and was lowest in Nagaland (8 percent) and Manipur (10 percent).
Among school-age children, Tripura (41 percent), Assam (35 percent) and Jharkhand (34 percent) and West Bengal (34 percent) had the highest prevalence of anemia and Kerala (3 percent), Jammu & Kashmir (7 percent) and Manipur (7 percent) had the lowest prevalence. Among adolescents, West Bengal (46 percent), Tripura (41 percent) and Assam (37 percent) had the highest prevalence of anemia, while Nagaland (8 percent) and Kerala (9 percent) had the lowest prevalence.