Frequency of Anemia and Associated Risk Factors Among Pregnant Women: A study from the remote outskirts of Quetta, Balochistan.
Objective: To determine the frequency and factors associated with anemia among pregnant women attending a rural health facility in Balochistan.
Methods: This descriptive cross sectional study was carried out at the Mufti Mehmood Memorial Hospital, Quetta, Balochistan over a period of one year. All pregnant women who attended the antenatal clinic during the study period were prospectively included. Exclusion criteria included patients who didn’t consent to participate and those with history of inherent bleeding disorders (i.e., thalassemia, sickle cell disease), and diseases of kidney and liver or other chronic illnesses. The anemia was managed according to standard protocols.
Results: During the study period, 271 pregnant women attended the healthcare facility. Their ages ranged between 13-41 years with a mean age of 26.36±7.66 years. The hemoglobin of 146(53.87%) women was within normal limits whereas 125 women (46.12%) had anemia. The anemia was mild, moderate and severe in 71(56.8%) women, 39 (31.2%) women and 15 (12%) women, respectively. Iron deficiency anemia (n=112; 89.6%) was the commonest type of anemia. The frequency of anemia was highest among women in their third trimester of pregnancy. Out the 125 anemic women, 17(13.6%) were nulliparous, 63(50.40%) women were multipara and 45 (36%) grand multipara.
Conclusion: Significant proportion of the pregnant women had anemia. Multiparous women in their third trimester were the more frequently sufferers. The underlying risk factors associated with anemia included poverty related under consumption of iron supplements and iron-containing foods such as eggs, meat, vegetables, fruits, and fish. The public health issue can be addressed with dietary interventions for the poor population.
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