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Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1995 Jul;173(1):205-9.

Long-term follow-up of mothers and their infants in a randomized trial on iron prophylaxis during pregnancy.

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  • 1National Research and Development Centre for Welfare and Health, University of Helsinki, Finland.



A randomized trial comparing women who were given iron only if needed and those given iron prophylactically showed that routine prophylaxis is not crucial for mothers' or infants' health up to postpartum examination. This study investigated these infants' and mothers' subsequent health, as available in routine registers in a 7-year follow-up.


Original data (N = 2693) were linked to the national population, birth, and hospital inpatient registers.


The outcomes in the two groups were very similar: there were no statistically significant differences in deaths after birth, number or timing of infants' or mothers' hospitalizations, reasons for mothers' first hospitalization, number or timing of subsequent miscarriages or births, or problems or outcomes in the next birth. However, infants of the prophylactically supplemented group were more frequently hospitalized because of convulsions.


This study does not support routine iron prophylaxis for well-nourished pregnant women.

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