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J Gynecol Obstet Biol Reprod (Paris). 2004 Oct;33(6 Pt 1):506-9.

[Severe maternal anemia and pregnancy outcome].

[Article in French]

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Service de Gynécologie-Obstétrique, Centre Hospitalier Franck Joly, 97320 Saint-Laurent-du-Maroni, Guyane, France.



The aim of this study was to determine the effects of severe antenatal maternal anemia on pregnancy outcome.


and methods. A retrospective study comparing 2 groups of pregnant women: 111 (pregnant women) with anemia (Hb < 8 g/dl), 111 non- anemic pregnant women (Hb >10 g/dl). Clinical and biological characteristics for both groups were compared. Data on the newborn babies were collected.


In the anemic group: iron deficiency was the most common cause of anemia (92.7%). There was no significant difference between the 2 groups with respect to age or parity. Maternal anemia was found to be significantly associated with more frequent preterm birth (29.2% vs 9.2%) and increased low birth weight (2933 g vs 3159 g).


The literature is not conclusive on the influence of anemia in pregnant women. More frequent preterm birth and low birth weight have been reported in the majority of studies considering mild to moderate maternal anemia (in contrast to our study where the mothers had severe anemia). Many studies indicated that routine iron supplementation during pregnancy may have beneficial effects on pregnancy outcome. Severe anemia in pregnancy may have adverse effects for the newborn and should be treated or prevented early in pregnancy.

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