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Indian Pediatr. 2002 Apr;39(4):339-46.

Impact of daily versus weekly hematinic supplementation on anemia in pregnant women.

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Department of Pediatrics, University College of Medical Sciences and Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital, Delhi 110 095, India.



To compare the effectivity of weekly versus daily iron therapy in reducing maternal anemia and to evaluate the association of maternal hemoglobin and fetal growth.




Tertiary care teaching hospital in an urban metropolis.


40 pregnant women received daily and 40 pregnant women received weekly oral therapy (335 mg of ferrous sulphate and 500 g folic acid) for a period of 14 weeks. The age of each pregnant woman and their baseline anthropometric data (weight, height and body mass index) were estimated. Hemoglobin and hematocrit estimations were carried out during follow period at 4 wks, 8 wks and 14 weeks. Serum ferritin values as a marker of iron status were also calculated in both the groups initially, at 14 weeks and at the time of delivery. Fetal anthropometric indices of 137 full term neonates delivered to mothers included in either of the supplementation groups or admitted to the hospital were also studied in relation to maternal hemoglobin concentration.


Forty subjects each were initially randomized into groups I and II. The age of pregnant women along with their baseline anthropometric data were similar in both groups. A total of 29 pregnant women in group I and 27 pregnant women in group II could be regularly followed up. The increase in hemoglobin and hematocrit values were similar in daily and weekly supplemented mothers. An intention to treat analysis also showed similar results. The ferritin values were similar at the start of supplementation and after 14 wks of weekly or daily iron therapy. Birth weight, crown heel length, head circumference of the neonate and placental weight increased significantly with rise in maternal hemoglobin levels.


Weekly iron supplementation is an effective mode of treating anemia among pregnant women and maternal anemia during pregnancy is adversely associated with fetal growth.

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