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Ceylon Med J. 2001 Dec;46(4):132-5.

Intermittent oral iron supplementation during pregnancy.

Author information

  • 1Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Ruhuna, Galle. malikg@eureka.lk

Abstract

RATIONALE:

It has been suggested that in pregnant women weekly iron supplements are as effective as daily supplements in preventing iron deficiency anaemia (IDA).

OBJECTIVE:

To compare the effectiveness of prophylactic antenatal oral iron supplements given weekly, thrice weekly and daily in preventing IDA in pregnancy.

DESIGN:

A randomised control trial.

SETTING:

University antenatal clinic, (UANC) Galle.

SUBJECTS AND METHOD:

An oral iron supplement containing 100 mg of elemental iron was randomly given weekly (n = 26) thrice weekly (n = 35) and daily (n = 31) to 92 women who were 14 to 24 weeks pregnant. Haemoglobin (Hb), serum ferritin (SF) and haematocrit (Hct) were assessed before and after 12 to 20 weeks of supplementation and a logistic regression analysis carried out.

RESULTS:

The risk of developing anaemia was significantly higher in the weekly (odds ratio 15, 95% CI 1.4-165.6, p < 0.03) and possibly higher in the thrice weekly (odds ratio 3, 95% CI 0.3-30.3, p = 0.3) groups. The risk of developing iron deficiency (SF < 12 micrograms/l) was also significantly higher in the weekly (odds ratio 18, 95% CI 2.8-115.5, p < 0.003) and thrice weekly (odds ratio 10, 95% CI 1.6-64.8, p < 0.02) groups.

CONCLUSION:

Prophylactic oral iron supplements when given intermittently were not effective in preventing iron deficiency anaemia in pregnancy.

PMID:
12164031
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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