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

DOI: 10.1016/j.nut.2013.08.015
  • Anemia
  • Iron Deficiency Anemia
  • Iron Status
  • Pregnant Women
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Biology


Abstract Objective To investigate the iron status of pregnant tribal women from Ramtek, Nagpur, Maharashtra, India using a combination of indices. Methods 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 weeks gestation (first visit; n=211) and followed to 29 to 42 weeks gestation (second visit; n=177) of pregnancy. Data on socio-demographic, anthropometric, iron supplement intake and blood samples for estimating haemoglobin (Hb), serum ferritin (SF), soluble transferrin receptors (sTfR) and C-reactive protein (CRP) were obtained. Results The mean (SD) Hb concentration at recruitment was 106 (15) g/L and 106 (14) g/L at the second visit; 41% at recruitment and 55% at second visit were anaemic (14% higher, p<0.001). No women at recruitment and 3.7% at second visit had SF concentration <15 ng/mL; and 3.3% at recruitment and 3.9% at the second visit had sTfR >4.4 ng/mL (0.6% higher, p=0.179). Almost 62% and 71% of pregnant women used iron supplements at first and second visits, respectively. Iron supplement intake >7 days in the past month improved the Hb concentration by 3.23 g/L and reduced sTfR concentration by 13%; women who were breastfeeding at the time of recruitment had 11% higher SF concentration. Conclusions The iron indices suggest that pregnant tribal women of central India, although anaemic, had good iron status. Use of iron supplements >7 days in the past month improved iron status, however, non-iron deficiency anemia persisted in this group.

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