Iron status of pregnant Indian women from an area of active iron supplementation

Iron status of pregnant Indian women from an area of active iron supplementation

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) 41.8% of pregnant women worldwide have anemia and about half of these women have iron-deficiency anemia (IDA). IDA continues to be a major public health challenge globally and is one of the most common nutritional disorders in pregnant women as iron requirements increase to meet the higher maternal–foetal demands.

Populations at highest risk for IDA during pregnancy are those with inadequate pre-pregnancy iron stores coupled with low dietary intakes of bioavailable iron. IDA during pregnancy also may have adverse effects on obstetric outcomes, making it a critical public health concern.

This study aims at investigating the iron status of pregnant tribal women from Ramtek, Nagpur, Maharashtra, India using a combination of indices. A community-based observational study was conducted to assess iron status using a convenience sample of pregnant Indian tribal women from Ramtek. Pregnant women were recruited at 13 to 22 wk gestation (first visit; n = 211) and followed to 29 to 42 wk gestation (second visit; n = 177) of pregnancy. Socio-demographic and anthropometric data; iron supplement intake; and blood samples for estimating hemoglobin (Hb), serum ferritin (SF), soluble transferrin receptor (sTfR), and C-reactive protein (CRP) were obtained.

The paper concludes by stating that the result suggests, among other things, that pregnant tribal women of central India, although anemic, had good iron status. Use of iron supplements > 7 d in the preceding month improved iron status; however, non-iron-deficiency anemia persisted in this group.

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