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Cureus. 2019 Oct 7;11(10):e5854. doi: 10.7759/cureus.5854.

The Association between Iron-deficiency Anemia and Adverse Pregnancy Outcomes: A Retrospective Report from Pakistan.

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Cardiology, Quaid-e-Azam Medical College, Bahawalpur, PAK.
Internal Medicine, Quaid-e-Azam Medical College, Bahawalpur, PAK.
Internal Medicine, Mongolian National University of Medical Sciences, Ulaanbaatar, MNG.
Anatomy, Liaquat College of Medicine and Dentistry, Karachi, PAK.
Medicine, Liaquat College of Medicine and Dentistry, Karachi, PAK.
Miscellaneous, Liaquat College of Medicine and Dentistry, Karachi, PAK.
Internal Medicine, Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Center, Karachi, PAK.


Background Anemia is one of the most common conditions that affect pregnancies, with dietary iron deficiency being its most common cause. Maternal anemia has been associated with increased risks of both maternal and neonatal adverse outcomes. This study aimed to analyze the maternal and neonatal outcomes in women with third-trimester anemia. Methods This was a retrospective report from a Pakistani public hospital. It included data records of the childbirths in the hospital, with at least one record that documented the hemoglobin (Hb) level in women in the first or second trimester and one in the third trimester. The duration of the study was from January 1, 2019 to June 30, 2019. Women with Hb level of <10mg/dL in the third trimester were categorized as anemic, and those with Hb level of >10mg/dL were categorized as non-anemic. Pregnancy outcomes were assessed for both mothers and babies. All data were processed through SPSS version 21.0 for Windows (IBM Corp., Armonk, NY). Results The study evaluated 235 (37.8%) anemic and 387 (62.2%) non-anemic women. Adverse maternal outcomes were compared between the two groups. In anemic women, gestational hypertension (56% vs. 27%; p: <0.0001), preeclampsia (65% vs. 25%; p: <0.0001), antepartum hemorrhage (32% vs. 19%; p: =0.0001), postpartum hemorrhage (79% vs. 28%; p: <0.0001), transfusions (94% vs. 5%; p: <0.0001), prolonged/obstructed labor (49% vs. 20%; p: <0.000), urgent induction of labor (24% vs. 2%; p: <0.0001), and urgent caesarean section (CS) (45% vs. 29%; p: 0.0001) were significantly more common as compared to non-anemic women. Adverse neonatal outcomes such as low birth weight (LBW) (59% vs. 29%; p: <0.0001), small-for-gestational-age (SGA) (73% vs. 23%; p: <0.0001), preterm delivery (39% vs. 15%; p: <0.0001), stillbirth (8% vs. 3%; p: 0.01), and early neonatal death (9% vs. 2%; p: 0.000) were associated more with anemia. There was no report of maternal mortality in either group. Conclusion: Anemia in the third trimester of pregnancy is associated with adverse maternal and neonatal outcomes including neonatal death. Efforts are required to ensure adequate maternal nutritional status in order to prevent poor outcomes.


adverse pregnancy outcomes; anemia in pregnancy; antenatal anemia; maternal anemia; neonatal outcomes

Conflict of interest statement

The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

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