Iron deficiency anemia: Pregnancy outcomes with or without iron supplementation



Nutrition. 2010 Apr 7.

Bánhidy F, Acs N, Puhó EH, Czeizel AE.

Aim:

The aim of this study is to estimate the efficacy of iron supplementation in anemic pregnant women on the basis of frequency of pregnancy complications and birth outcomes.

Methods:

This was a population-based Case-Control Surveillance System of Congenital Abnormalities study in Hungary. Medical records were used to compare the occurrence of pregnancy complications and birth outcomes in pregnant women affected with iron deficiency anemia and iron supplementation whom: (1) had malformed fetuses/newborns – Case Group (2) who delivered healthy babies – Control Group.

Results: of 22843 cases of Congenital Abnormalities, 3242 (14.2%) had anemia. In the control group (n=38 151) 6358 (16.7%) had mothers with anemia.  No higher rate of preterm births and low birth weight in the newborns of anemic pregnant women supplemented by iron were observed. However, anemic pregnant women without iron treatment had a significantly shorter gestational age at delivery with a higher rate of preterm births, however, these adverse birth outcomes were prevented with iron supplementation. The rate of total and some congenital abnormalities was lower than expected and explained mainly by a healthier lifestyle and folic acid supplements. The secondary findings of this research displayed a higher risk of constipation-related hemorrhoids and hypotension in anemic pregnant women with iron supplementation.

Conclusion:

In conclusion, a higher rate of preterm birth was discovered in anemic pregnant women without iron treatment but this adverse birth outcome was prevented with iron supplementation. No higher rate of congenital abnormalities in the offspring of anemic pregnant women supplemented with iron and/or folic acid supplements was observed.