JOURNAL ARTICLE

Assessment of the prevalence of iron deficiency anemia, by serum ferritin, in pregnant women of Southern Iran

Mehran Karimi, Raheem Kadivar, Hooman Yarmohammadi
Medical Science Monitor: International Medical Journal of Experimental and Clinical Research 2002, 8 (7): CR488-92
12118195

BACKGROUND: Iron-deficiency anemia (IDA) is a public health problem in the developing and even industrialized countries. Pregnant women and children under 5 years of age are among the high-risk population. Our main objectives in this study were to obtain the prevalence of IDA in pregnant women by routine methods and by serum ferritin.

MATERIAL/METHODS: We analysed the blood of 270 healthy pregnant mothers, 16 weeks of gestational age. A series of determinations were conducted to determine haemoglobin concentration (Hb); red blood cells count (RBC); serum ferritin and other indexes. Then a questionnaire for epidemiological data, type of diet, level of education, laboratory data, etc. was filled.

RESULTS: The mean values (SD) of haematological indexes were as follows: Hb 12.07I1.5 g/dl; serum ferritin 24.87I19.32 ng/ml; mean corpuscular haemoglobin concentration (MCHC) 31.9I1.4 g/dl; mean corpuscular volume (MCV) 82.2I9 fl and mean corpuscular haemoglobin (MCH) 26.4I3.2 pg. 28.5 % of the subjects were anaemic at the time of the study according to serum ferritin (SF < 12 ng/ml) and 16.7% of the mothers had low serum Haemoglobin (Hb<11 g/dl) (P=0.005). There was a positive correlation (r=0.76; P=0.01) between Hb concentration and serum ferritin levels.

CONCLUSIONS: The prevalence of IDA was 28.5%, which is the same as the prevalence found in other developing countries (25-35%). This shows that in southern Iran we are still far behind the health status in the industrialized countries (5-8%).

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