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Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2000;900:125-36.

Anemia in pregnancy.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University Hospital of Heraklion, University of Crete, Greece.


Anemia is one of the most frequent complications related to pregnancy. Normal physiologic changes in pregnancy affect the hemoglobin (Hb), and there is a relative or absolute reduction in Hb concentration. The most common true anemias during pregnancy are iron deficiency anemia (approximately 75%) and folate deficiency megaloblastic anemia, which are more common in women who have inadequate diets and who are not receiving prenatal iron and folate supplements. Severe anemia may have adverse effects on the mother and the fetus. Anemia with hemoglobin levels less than 6 gr/dl is associated with poor pregnancy outcome. Prematurity, spontaneous abortions, low birth weight, and fetal deaths are complications of severe maternal anemia. Nevertheless, a mild to moderate iron deficiency does not appear to cause a significant effect on fetal hemoglobin concentration. An Hb level of 11 gr/dl in the late first trimester and also of 10 gr/dl in the second and third trimesters are suggested as lower limits for Hb concentration. In an iron-deficient state, iron supplementation must be given and follow-up is indicated to diagnose iron-unresponsive anemias.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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