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Am J Perinatol. 1998;15(9):515-22.

Maternal hematologic changes during pregnancy and the effect of iron status on preterm delivery in a West Los Angeles population.

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Department of MCH, University of North Carolina School of Public Health, Chapel Hill, USA.


This study was conducted to document the prevalence of anemia and high hematocrit during pregnancy and examine their effect on delivering preterm in a predominantly Hispanic population. The sample consisted of women receiving prenatal care from the public health clinics in the West Los Angeles from 1983 to 1986 (n = 7589). Multivariate logistic regression was used to isolate the role of anemia and high hematocrit from other factors that may influence birth outcome. The prevalence of anemia was approximately 9% at the initiation of prenatal care and at 28-32 weeks' gestation. Only anemia at 28-32 weeks was significantly associated with a preterm birth, even after adjusting for several confounders [Adjusted Odds Ratio (AOR) 1.83 95% Cl = 1.21, 2.77]. A high hematocrit that occurred in 9.6% of the population at 28-32 weeks was inversely associated with a preterm birth (AOR 0.78, 95% Cl = 0.44, 1.39). There was little differentiation of these risk factors when analyzing the etiological pathways of a preterm birth. These results indicate for the first time in a predominantly Hispanic population that despite routine iron supplementation, anemia still occurs in pregnant women and it can predict a preterm delivery.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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