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Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand. 2011 Jan;90(1):47-56. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0412.2010.01014.x. Epub 2010 Nov 26.

Prevalence of anemia and micronutrient deficiencies in early pregnancy in rural Bangladesh, the MINIMat trial.

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1
International Maternal and Child Health, Department of Women's and Children's Health, Uppsala University, Sweden. emma.lindstrom@kbh.uu.se

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To describe the prevalence of anemia and micronutrient deficiencies as well as their determinants in early pregnancy.

DESIGN:

Baseline data from a population-based randomized intervention trial.

SETTING:

The study was conducted in Matlab, a sub-district in rural Bangladesh from 1 January to 31 December 2002.

POPULATION:

Pregnant women (n= 740) were enrolled in approximately week 14 in pregnancy.

METHODS:

Data were collected using questionnaires, physical examinations and laboratory analyses of blood samples for concentrations of hemoglobin, ferritin, zinc, folate and vitamin B-12.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Covariates associated with anemia and micronutrient deficiencies in bivariate analyses were evaluated in multivariate logistic regression models adjusting for potential confounders.

RESULTS:

Anemia was present in 28% of the women, 55% were zinc deficient, 46% were vitamin B-12 deficient and 18% were folate deficient. Anemia was not associated with iron deficiency but rather with vitamin B-12 deficiency. Infestation with Ascaris was highly prevalent (67%) and associated with both folate and vitamin B-12 deficiency. Anemia and micronutrient deficiencies all varied significantly with season.

CONCLUSIONS:

The high prevalences of zinc and vitamin B-12 deficiencies in early pregnancy are a concern, as it could lead to adverse pregnancy outcomes and increased health risks for both mother and child. The prevalence of iron deficiency was low, but as this was during early pregnancy, the women might develop iron deficiency and consequently iron deficiency anemia as the pregnancy progresses.

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