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Daily oral iron supplementation during pregnancy.
Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2015; (7):CD004736CD

Abstract

BACKGROUND

Iron and folic acid supplementation has been the preferred intervention to improve iron stores and prevent anaemia among pregnant women, and it is thought to improve other maternal and birth outcomes.

OBJECTIVES

To assess the effects of daily oral iron supplements for pregnant women, either alone or in conjunction with folic acid, or with other vitamins and minerals as a public health intervention in antenatal care.

SEARCH METHODS

We searched the Cochrane Pregnancy and Childbirth Group's Trials Register (10 January 2015). We also searched the WHO International Clinical Trials Registry Platform (ICTRP) (26 February 2015) and contacted relevant organisations for the identification of ongoing and unpublished studies (26 February 2015) .

SELECTION CRITERIA

Randomised or quasi-randomised trials evaluating the effects of oral preventive supplementation with daily iron, iron + folic acid or iron + other vitamins and minerals during pregnancy.

DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS

We assessed the methodological quality of trials using standard Cochrane criteria. Two review authors independently assessed trial eligibility, extracted data and conducted checks for accuracy. We used the GRADE approach to assess the quality of the evidence for primary outcomes.We anticipated high heterogeneity among trials and we pooled trial results using a random-effects model and were cautious in our interpretation of the pooled results: the random-effects model gives the average treatment effect.

MAIN RESULTS

We included 61 trials. Forty-four trials, involving 43,274 women, contributed data and compared the effects of daily oral supplements containing iron versus no iron or placebo.Preventive iron supplementation reduced maternal anaemia at term by 70% (risk ratio (RR) 0.30; 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.19 to 0.46, 14 trials, 2199 women, low quality evidence), iron-deficiency anaemia at term (RR 0.33; 95% CI 0.16 to 0.69, six trials, 1088 women), and iron deficiency at term by 57% (RR 0.43; 95% CI 0.27 to 0.66, seven trials, 1256 women, low quality evidence). There were no clear differences between groups for severe anaemia in the second or third trimester, or maternal infection during pregnancy (RR 0.22; 95% CI 0.01 to 3.20, nine trials, 2125 women, very low quality evidence; and, RR 1.21; 95% CI 0.33 to 4.46; one trial, 727 women, low quality evidence, respectively), or maternal mortality (RR 0.33; 95% CI 0.01 to 8.19, two trials, 12,560 women, very low quality evidence), or reporting of side effects (RR 1.29; 95% CI 0.83 to 2.02, 11 trials, 2423 women, very low quality evidence). Women receiving iron were on average more likely to have higher haemoglobin (Hb) concentrations at term and in the postpartum period, but were at increased risk of Hb concentrations greater than 130 g/L during pregnancy, and at term.Compared with controls, women taking iron supplements less frequently had low birthweight newborns (8.4% versus 10.3%, average RR 0.84; 95% CI 0.69 to 1.03, 11 trials, 17,613 women, low quality evidence), and preterm babies (RR 0.93; 95% CI 0.84 to 1.03, 13 trials, 19,286 women, moderate quality evidence). They appeared to also deliver slightly heavier babies (mean difference (MD) 23.75; 95% CI -3.02 to 50.51, 15 trials, 18,590 women, moderate quality evidence). None of these results were statistically significant. There were no clear differences between groups for neonatal death (RR 0.91; 95% CI 0.71 to 1.18, four trials, 16,603 infants, low quality evidence), or congenital anomalies (RR 0.88, 95% CI 0.58 to 1.33, four trials, 14,636 infants, low quality evidence).Twenty-three studies were conducted in countries that in 2011 had some malaria risk in parts of the country. In some of these countries/territories, malaria is present only in certain areas or up to a particular altitude. Only two of these studies reported malaria outcomes. There is no evidence that iron supplementation increases placental malaria. For some outcomes heterogeneity was higher than 50%.

AUTHORS' CONCLUSIONS

Supplementation reduces the risk of maternal anaemia and iron deficiency in pregnancy but the positive effect on other maternal and infant outcomes is less clear. Implementation of iron supplementation recommendations may produce heterogeneous results depending on the populations' background risk for low birthweight and anaemia, as well as the level of adherence to the intervention.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Evidence and Programme Guidance, Department of Nutrition for Health and Development, World Health Organization, 20 Avenue Appia, Geneva, Switzerland, 1211.No affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Meta-Analysis
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
Review
Systematic Review

Language

eng

PubMed ID

26198451

Citation

Peña-Rosas, Juan Pablo, et al. "Daily Oral Iron Supplementation During Pregnancy." The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 2015, p. CD004736.
Peña-Rosas JP, De-Regil LM, Garcia-Casal MN, et al. Daily oral iron supplementation during pregnancy. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2015.
Peña-Rosas, J. P., De-Regil, L. M., Garcia-Casal, M. N., & Dowswell, T. (2015). Daily oral iron supplementation during pregnancy. The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, (7), p. CD004736. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD004736.pub5.
Peña-Rosas JP, et al. Daily Oral Iron Supplementation During Pregnancy. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2015 Jul 22;(7)CD004736. PubMed PMID: 26198451.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Daily oral iron supplementation during pregnancy. AU - Peña-Rosas,Juan Pablo, AU - De-Regil,Luz Maria, AU - Garcia-Casal,Maria N, AU - Dowswell,Therese, Y1 - 2015/07/22/ PY - 2015/7/23/entrez PY - 2015/7/23/pubmed PY - 2016/2/10/medline SP - CD004736 EP - CD004736 JF - The Cochrane database of systematic reviews JO - Cochrane Database Syst Rev IS - 7 N2 - BACKGROUND: Iron and folic acid supplementation has been the preferred intervention to improve iron stores and prevent anaemia among pregnant women, and it is thought to improve other maternal and birth outcomes. OBJECTIVES: To assess the effects of daily oral iron supplements for pregnant women, either alone or in conjunction with folic acid, or with other vitamins and minerals as a public health intervention in antenatal care. SEARCH METHODS: We searched the Cochrane Pregnancy and Childbirth Group's Trials Register (10 January 2015). We also searched the WHO International Clinical Trials Registry Platform (ICTRP) (26 February 2015) and contacted relevant organisations for the identification of ongoing and unpublished studies (26 February 2015) . SELECTION CRITERIA: Randomised or quasi-randomised trials evaluating the effects of oral preventive supplementation with daily iron, iron + folic acid or iron + other vitamins and minerals during pregnancy. DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: We assessed the methodological quality of trials using standard Cochrane criteria. Two review authors independently assessed trial eligibility, extracted data and conducted checks for accuracy. We used the GRADE approach to assess the quality of the evidence for primary outcomes.We anticipated high heterogeneity among trials and we pooled trial results using a random-effects model and were cautious in our interpretation of the pooled results: the random-effects model gives the average treatment effect. MAIN RESULTS: We included 61 trials. Forty-four trials, involving 43,274 women, contributed data and compared the effects of daily oral supplements containing iron versus no iron or placebo.Preventive iron supplementation reduced maternal anaemia at term by 70% (risk ratio (RR) 0.30; 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.19 to 0.46, 14 trials, 2199 women, low quality evidence), iron-deficiency anaemia at term (RR 0.33; 95% CI 0.16 to 0.69, six trials, 1088 women), and iron deficiency at term by 57% (RR 0.43; 95% CI 0.27 to 0.66, seven trials, 1256 women, low quality evidence). There were no clear differences between groups for severe anaemia in the second or third trimester, or maternal infection during pregnancy (RR 0.22; 95% CI 0.01 to 3.20, nine trials, 2125 women, very low quality evidence; and, RR 1.21; 95% CI 0.33 to 4.46; one trial, 727 women, low quality evidence, respectively), or maternal mortality (RR 0.33; 95% CI 0.01 to 8.19, two trials, 12,560 women, very low quality evidence), or reporting of side effects (RR 1.29; 95% CI 0.83 to 2.02, 11 trials, 2423 women, very low quality evidence). Women receiving iron were on average more likely to have higher haemoglobin (Hb) concentrations at term and in the postpartum period, but were at increased risk of Hb concentrations greater than 130 g/L during pregnancy, and at term.Compared with controls, women taking iron supplements less frequently had low birthweight newborns (8.4% versus 10.3%, average RR 0.84; 95% CI 0.69 to 1.03, 11 trials, 17,613 women, low quality evidence), and preterm babies (RR 0.93; 95% CI 0.84 to 1.03, 13 trials, 19,286 women, moderate quality evidence). They appeared to also deliver slightly heavier babies (mean difference (MD) 23.75; 95% CI -3.02 to 50.51, 15 trials, 18,590 women, moderate quality evidence). None of these results were statistically significant. There were no clear differences between groups for neonatal death (RR 0.91; 95% CI 0.71 to 1.18, four trials, 16,603 infants, low quality evidence), or congenital anomalies (RR 0.88, 95% CI 0.58 to 1.33, four trials, 14,636 infants, low quality evidence).Twenty-three studies were conducted in countries that in 2011 had some malaria risk in parts of the country. In some of these countries/territories, malaria is present only in certain areas or up to a particular altitude. Only two of these studies reported malaria outcomes. There is no evidence that iron supplementation increases placental malaria. For some outcomes heterogeneity was higher than 50%. AUTHORS' CONCLUSIONS: Supplementation reduces the risk of maternal anaemia and iron deficiency in pregnancy but the positive effect on other maternal and infant outcomes is less clear. Implementation of iron supplementation recommendations may produce heterogeneous results depending on the populations' background risk for low birthweight and anaemia, as well as the level of adherence to the intervention. SN - 1469-493X UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/26198451/Daily_oral_iron_supplementation_during_pregnancy_ L2 - https://doi.org/10.1002/14651858.CD004736.pub5 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -