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Minerva Ginecol. 1997 Dec;49(12):571-6.

[Evaluation of hemoglobin and hematocrit in pregnant women receiving folate and iron supplements].

[Article in Italian]

Author information

  • 1Divisione Ostetrico-Ginecologica, Ospedale Spirito Santo, Pescara.

Abstract

BACKGROUND AND AIMS:

From week 8 there is a reduction in hemoglobin and hematocrit (owing to the increased plasma volume which exceeds the increased erythrocytic content) that continues to fall steadily until week 16-22, flattening out at a level of 10-11 g/100 ml for hemoglobin and 32-34% for hematocrit. Bone marrow produces red blood cells and hemoglobin in proportion to the increase in plasma volume, provided that there is an adequate iron supply (higher in pregnancy compared to the usual dietary intake). For this reason, the authors examined the systematic supplementation of pregnant women with ferrous gluconate and folic acid, another important element for numerous metabolic reactions which is also lacking in pregnancy owing to increased requirements.

METHODS:

The study showed that pregnant patients receiving folic acid and iron supplements from week 5 to 40 presented hematocrit readings and hemoglobin levels from week 12 that were constantly higher compared to the population not receiving supplements, with statistically significant and highly significant differences respectively. The few collateral effects observed in a limited group of patients allow the authors to define the tolerability of the proposed treatment as "excellent". They emphasise, however, the importance of constant supplementation with folic acid and iron throughout pregnancy to avoid sideropenic anemia, with considerable benefits in terms of the physical conditions of the pregnant woman, the supply of O2 to the villi, fetal wellbeing and the need to resort to possible blood transfusions in the event of major blood losses at birth.

PMID:
9557487
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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