The Lives Saved Tool (LiST) as a model for prevention of anemia in women of reproductive age

Rebecca Heidkamp, Renee Guida, Erica Phillips, Adrienne Clermont

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background: Anemia in women is a major public health burden worldwide, particularly in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). It is a complex conditionwith multiple nutritional and non-nutritional causes, and geographic heterogeneity of burden. The World Health Assembly has set a target of a 50% reduction in anemia among women of reproductive age (WRA) by 2025. Objective: This article seeks to identify the leading causes of anemia among women in LMICs, review the evidence supporting interventions to address anemia in these settings, and ultimately use this information to decide which interventions should be included in the Lives Saved Tool (LiST) model of anemia. It also seeks to examine the link between anemia and cause-specific maternal mortality. Methods: The leading causes of anemia in WRA were inventoried to identify preventive and curative interventions available for implementation at the public health scale. A literature review was then conducted for each identified intervention, as well as for the link between anemia and maternal mortality. Results: The interventions for which data were available fell into the following categories: provision of iron, malaria prevention, and treatment of parasitic infestation. Ultimately, 5 interventions were included in the LiST model for anemia: blanket iron supplementation or fortification, iron and folic acid supplementation in pregnancy, multiple micronutrient supplementation in pregnancy, intermittent preventive treatment of malaria in pregnancy, and household ownership of an insecticide-treated bednet. In addition, anemia was linked in the model with risk of maternal mortality due to hemorrhage. Conclusion: The updated LiST model for anemia reflects the state of the current scientific evidence and should be of use to researchers, program managers, and policymakers who seek to model the impact of scaling up nutrition and health interventions on anemia, and ultimately on maternal mortality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2156S-2162S
JournalJournal of Nutrition
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2017


  • Anemia
  • Iron supplementation
  • Lives Saved Tool
  • Malaria
  • Maternal mortality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


Dive into the research topics of 'The Lives Saved Tool (LiST) as a model for prevention of anemia in women of reproductive age'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this