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Gynecol Obstet Invest. 1981;12(6):294-304.

Influence of routine administration of folic acid and iron during pregnancy.


Haematological and folic acid status were assessed in 200 women in the 6th month of pregnancy. Folic acid deficiencies with no or little haematological impairment were found in one third of the cases, and their occurrence increased when the socioeconomic level was low. During the last trimester of pregnancy, the women were given either iron alone or iron and folic acid supplementation. In the mothers, the rise of folate values in serum and red blood cells, in the folic acid-supplemented group, had no obvious haematological consequences, showing that iron therapy alone can, in developed countries, prevent the anaemia in pregnancy. In the infants, there was no difference in the haematological indices, whatever the mothers' treatment had been. However, a significant difference appeared for the gestational age and, therefore, the height and weight. Folic acid supplementation during pregnancy increased its duration by virtually 1 week.

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