Maternal Anemia in Pregnancy: Assessing the Effect of Routine Preventive Measures in a Malaria-Endemic Area.

Faculté de Pharmacie, Université Paris Descartes, Paris, France
The American journal of tropical medicine and hygiene (Impact Factor: 2.7). 01/2013; 88(2). DOI: 10.4269/ajtmh.12-0195
Source: PubMed


We investigated the effectiveness of routine preventive measures for anemia in Beninese pregnant women during pregnancy. Anemia (hemoglobin < 110 g/L) was common: 68.3% at first antenatal visit (ANV1), 64.7% at second antenatal visit (ANV2), and 40.6% at delivery. Parasitic infections and nutritional deficiencies were the most preventable causes. After intermittent preventive treatment (IPTp) and antihelminthic treatments, malaria prevalence decreased from 15.1% (ANV1) to 4.0% (ANV2) and increased again to 9.6% at delivery. Helminth infections dropped from 11.1% (ANV1) to 7.2% (ANV2) and 2.4% at delivery. Malaria was associated with lower mean hemoglobin on ANV1 and delivery, and iron deficiency was associated with lower mean hemoglobin on ANV1 and ANV2. IPTp and antihelminthic treatments were efficacious to clear parasitic infections and improve hematologic status, whereas the effectiveness of daily iron and folic acid supplements to correct iron and folate deficiencies and decrease anemia was less marked, possibly because of lack of compliance.

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    • "Primigravidae had a lower mean Hb and an increased risk for anaemia in early pregnancy compared to multigravidae, prior to the administration of IPTp. Furthermore, an overall decrease in the proportion of malaria infections after women were given IPTp has been shown [1,15-17]. In the study, more than 20% of primigravidae were infected by malarial parasites at inclusion, whereas only less than 10% of them were malaria positive at delivery. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background Primigravidity is one of the main risk factors for both malaria and anaemia. Since the implementation of intermittent preventive treatment (IPTp) in sub-Saharan Africa, the relationship between anaemia and gravidity and its evolution during pregnancy has been little explored. This study aimed to evaluate the impact of gravidity on the variation of haemoglobin during pregnancy according to the timing of gestation. Methods Data from three studies carried out in nearby areas in south Benin (Ouidah, Comé, Allada) between 2005 and 2012 were analysed. At inclusion (first antenatal visit, ANV1) women’s age, area of residence, schooling, gravidity, gestational age, weight and height were recorded. Thick blood smears were performed on ANV1, second visit (ANV2) and at delivery. In Allada, women’s serum ferritin and CRP concentrations were also assessed. The impact of gravidity on maternal haemoglobin (Hb) was analysed using a logistic or linear regression depending on the outcome. The statistical significance was set to P < 0.05. Results In total, data from 3,591 pregnant women were analysed. Both univariate and multivariate analyses showed a constant association between Hb concentrations and gravidity in the three periods of Hb assessment (ANV1, ANV2 and delivery). Mean Hb concentration was significantly lower in primigravidae than in multigravidae at ANV1 (mean difference = -2.4 g/L, CI 95%: [-3.4, -1.4], P < 0.001). Afterwards, there was a significant increase in primigravidae only, with a tendency to reversal between primigravidae and multigravidae, which was confirmed at delivery (mean difference = 2.8 g/L, CI 95%: [1.3, 4.2], P < 0.001). The prevalence of malaria infection was halved between ANV1 and delivery in primigravidae while it decreased by only 38% among multigravidae, who were less prone to malaria infection (prevalence at ANV1, 20% and 10% respectively). Iron deficiency was more common in multigravidae, and it decreased slightly in this group between ANV1 and delivery. Conclusion In a context of IPTp, Hb levels improved progressively throughout pregnancy in primigravidae, likely as a result of reduction in malaria infection. In multigravidae, the improvement was less perceptible and anaemia was mainly due to iron deficiency.
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