Assessment of the prevalence of iron deficiency anemia, by serum ferritin, in pregnant women of Southern Iran.Med Sci Monit 2002; 8(7):CR488-92MS
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.
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.
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.
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%).