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Trop Med Int Health. 2012 Mar;17(3):283-91. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-3156.2011.02932.x. Epub 2011 Dec 7.

Anaemia during pregnancy: impact on birth outcome and infant haemoglobin level during the first 18 months of life.

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IRD UMR216, Mère et enfant face aux infections tropicales, Paris, France.


To determine the effect of maternal anaemia on pregnancy outcome and describe its impact on infant haemoglobin level in the first 18 months of life, we conducted a prospective study of 617 pregnant women and their children in Benin. Prevalence of maternal anaemia at delivery was 39.5%, and 61.1% of newborns were anaemic at birth. Maternal anaemia was not associated with low birth weight [OR = 1.2 (0.6-2.2)] or preterm birth [OR = 1.3 (0.7-2.4)], whereas the newborn's anaemia was related to maternal anaemia [OR = 1.8 (1.2-2.5)]. There was no association between an infant's haemoglobin level until 18 months and maternal anaemia. However, malaria attacks during follow-up, male gender and sickle cell trait were all associated with a lower infant haemoglobin level until 18 months, whereas good infant feeding practices and a polygamous family were positively associated with a higher haemoglobin level during the first 18 months of life.

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