The Prevalence of Anemia Among Pregnant Women at Booking in Enugu, South Eastern Nigeria

Cyril C. Dim, MBBS (Nig); Hyacinth E. Onah, MBBS (Nig), MPA, FMCOG, FWACS, FICS

In This Article


Anemia in pregnancy is defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a hemoglobin concentration below 11 g/dL.[1] It continues to be a major health problem in many developing countries and is associated with increased rates of maternal and perinatal mortality, premature delivery, low birth weight, and other adverse outcomes.[2,3] More than half of the pregnant women in the world have hemoglobin levels indicative of anemia.[1] Although only 15% of pregnant women are anemic in developed countries,[4] the prevalence of anemia in developing countries is relatively high (33% to 75%).[1,3,5,6,7] The most common cause of anemia in pregnancy worldwide is iron deficiency.[3] The predisposing factors include grandmultiparity, low socioeconomic status, malaria infestation, late booking, HIV infection, and inadequate child spacing -- among others.[8,9,10,11]

Because anemia is the most frequent maternal complication of pregnancy, antenatal care should therefore be concerned with its early detection and management.[12] Therefore, the objective of this study was to determine the prevalence of anemia among pregnant women at registration for antenatal care at a major tertiary care hospital in Enugu, southeastern Nigeria.


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