Zinc and copper deficiency is associated with anaemia or iron deficiency and affects fetus growth and pregnant women during pregnancy. To examine iron, zinc and copper status of Chinese pregnant women with and without anaemia in the third trimester, 1185 subjects were enrolled for measurements of Hb, ferritin, transferrin, soluble transferrin receptor (sTfR), and serum iron, zinc and copper. The results showed that there were lower levels of ferritin (14.1 microg/L) and transferrin (3.33 g/L) in subjects with Hb<or=100g/L as compared with subjects with Hb>or=101 g/L. sTfR levels in subjects with Hb<or=100g/L were significantly higher than those in subjects with Hb>or=120 g/L (38.5 nmol/L vs. 25.04 nmol/L, P<0.001). Serum iron was lower in subjects with Hb<or=100 g/L than those with Hb>or=120 g/L (871 microg/L vs. 990 microg/L, P<0.01). Lower levels of serum iron and zinc were also found in anaemic (Hb<110 g/L) as compared with non-anaemic women (Hb>or=110 g/L). Frequencies of marginal deficiencies in serum iron and zinc were 41.58% and 51.05% respectively higher in anaemic than in non-anaemic subjects. Distribution of serum zinc and iron showed a decreasing trend as Hb decreased. Few anaemic as well as non-anaemic subjects had copper deficiency although copper and Hb levels were found inversely correlated and the ratio of copper/iron was higher in anaemic than in non-anaemic group. In conclusion, a lower level of serum zinc in anaemic pregnant women might be related to anaemia and iron deficiency during pregnancy. Therefore, combined zinc and iron supplementation should be recommended to Chinese pregnant women, especially those with anaemia.