Author(s): Massot C, Vanderpas J
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Abstract Anaemia during pregnancy is a common problem worldwide. In industrialised countries, it is still frequent in some groups of population. This study is based on the retrospective analysis of results of routine blood analysis performed on 15-44 years old women attending prenatal clinics (study group) or other outpatient clinics (non pregnant group) in a public hospital in Mons, Belgium from 1997 to 1999. In the non-pregnant group (2503 women), anaemia (haemoglobin < 12 g/dL) was present in 7.7\% of the women. During pregnancy, anaemia was defined as haemoglobin level < 11 g/dL. In our sample, during the 1st trimester of pregnancy, anaemia was present in 4.3\% of 887 pregnancies, among which 35\% meeting CDC criteria (ferritin < 12 micrograms/L) for iron deficiency anaemia (IDA). Frequency of anaemia increases through pregnancy. Among 1313 pregnancies, 31\% suffer from anaemia during the 3rd trimester, among which 75\% meet criteria for IDA. Both low haemoglobin and low ferritin levels during the 1st trimester are good predictors of 3rd trimester anaemia. Systematic administration of iron supplement during pregnancy is matter of debate. In order to limit supplementation to pregnant women at risk of 3rd trimester anaemia, we suggest to treat anaemia (haemoglobin level < 11 g/d) detected at the first prenatal visit and to give small doses of iron (30 mg per day) when haemoglobin level is between 11 g/dL and 13 g/dL or ferritin level is less than 20 micrograms/dL. Low doses are generally well tolerated and compliance is better.
This article was published in Acta Clin Belg
and referenced in Journal of Blood Disorders & Transfusion