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

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Materials and Methods

This was a retrospective study of normal pregnant women who registered with the antenatal unit of the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital (UNTH) Enugu between January 1, 2005 and October 30, 2005.

UNTH Enugu is the pioneer teaching hospital in southeastern Nigeria. It is located within Enugu city, which was the capital of the Igbo-speaking southeastern region of Nigeria and currently the capital of the recently created Enugu state. The hospital offers both primary and specialized health services for the people of Enugu and its environment. It still serves as a major referral center for the southeastern and parts of the middle-belt regions of Nigeria.

A sampling frame was made from a register of all pregnant women registered for antenatal service at the hospital within the study period. Using a systematic sampling method, every first out of 2 registered names was selected for the study. Five hundred thirty names were selected and their case records retrieved from the medical records department of the hospital, following approval by the hospital authorities. Data were obtained with respect to age, parity, gestational age at booking, interval between last confinement and last menstrual period, hemoglobin concentration at booking, and HIV status. To qualify for this study, the case must be a singleton pregnancy with no complaint of vaginal bleeding. At the UNTH, Enugu, hemoglobin concentration is usually determined by very well-trained laboratory scientists using the colorimetric method. Data were analyzed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) software version 11 (SPSS Inc; 2001). There was cross-tabulation of various variables: age, parity, interval between last confinement and last menstrual period, HIV status, and gestational age at booking against hemoglobin concentration profile. Pearson's chi-square test was used to evaluate the effect of these variables on the hemoglobin concentration profile at the 95% confidence level.

A hemoglobin value of less than 11.0 g/dL was considered to be anemia in pregnancy. The degrees of anemia studied were mild anemia (9.0-10.9 g/dL), moderate anemia (7.0-8.9 g/dL), and severe anemia (less than 7.0 g/dL).

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