Iron status of Zairean pregnant women with and without serological markers of hepatitis B virus infection.J Trop Med Hyg 1991; 94(2):104-9JT
We assessed the iron status of 203 Zairean pregnant women: 38 with chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection (HBsAg(+)), 94 with antibodies to the surface antigen (Anti-HBs(+)) and 71 without HBV markers (HBsAg(-)/Anti-HBs(-)). Participants, age range 15-42 years and parity 1-12, were recruited from Mama Yemo Hospital in summer 1983. Haemoglobin (Hb), serum iron, total iron binding capacity and transferrin saturation (TS) were determined by standard techniques and serum ferritin (FERR) by radioimmunoassay. To rule out inflammation and/or infection which increase FERR levels, C-reactive protein (CRP) and alpha 1-acid glycoprotein (AGP) were also measured. There was no significant difference in the mean levels of any of the haematologic measurements, FERR, CRP and AGP between the three HBV groups. Women who took iron supplements had slightly higher mean levels of Hb but not serum FERR or TS than those who did not. Women with inflammation and identical HBV markers had higher mean FERR levels than those without inflammation. Neither the prevalence of anaemia, which varied between 32 and 35%, nor that of iron deficiency, which varied between 52 and 59%, differed significantly between the three groups of women. We conclude that in pregnant women, chronic asymptomatic HBV infection is not associated with a lower prevalence of iron deficiency and/or anaemia.