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J Med Assoc Thai. 2010 Jul;93(7):765-70.

The prevalence of iron deficiency anemia in pregnant women in Nakhonsawan, Thailand.

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  • 1Health Promotion Hospital, Regional Health Center 8, Nakhonsawan, Thailand.



To determine the prevalence of iron deficiency anemia in pregnant women and the prevalence of thalassemia in both the anemic and non-anemic group.


At the first antenatal visit, blood was obtained for complete blood count. If hemoglobin < 11 g/dl or hematocrit < 33%, serum ferritin was performed. The authors used definition of anemia from CDC and WHO to determine the prevalence of anemia in pregnant women. Iron deficiency anemia was defined by anemia from CDC or WHO criteria in accordance with serum ferritin less than 30 mg/L. Cases of abnormal thalassemia screening were followed by hemoglobin electrophoresis and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for diagnosis of alpha thalassemia 1 (SEA and Thai-deletion type). The data was analyzed by descriptive fashion and presented as mean, percentage, and standard deviation.


Five hundred nineteen pregnant women were recruited. The prevalence of anemia from WHO (Hemoglobin < 11 g/ dl), WHO (Hematocrit < 33%), and CDC criteria were 14.1, 9.8, and 10.6% respectively. The prevalence of iron deficiency anemia was 6.0, 4.6, and 4.8% in the same order. The prevalence of thalassemia was 39.7% in the anemic group and 24.4% in the non-anemic group.


The WHO criteria (Hemoglobin < 11 g/dl) gave the highest prevalence of anemia and iron deficiency anemia during pregnancy (14.1% and 6.0%). The prevalence of thalassemia in the anemic group (39.7%) was higher than non-anemic group (24.4%).

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