Nuzhat Raza, Iram Sarwar, Bibi Munazza, Muhammad Ayub, Muhammad Suleman


Background: Pregnant women constitute a high risk group for iron deficiency. Maternal iron
deficiency and particularly iron deficiency anaemia may be associated with detrimental effects on
maternal and infant function and particularly with a higher risk of preterm delivery and delivery of
low birth weight neonates. Objective of this study was to assess and compare the iron status of
normal healthy non-pregnant women with that of pregnant women of Hazara Division. Methods:
This study was conducted at Faculty of Health Sciences, Hazara University, and Ayub Medical
College, Abbottabad from 1st March to 31st August 2006. Altogether 120 women, 90 pregnant at
various stages of pregnancy and 30 non-pregnant women as control group were included in this
study by convenience sampling. Their iron status was assessed by determination of haemoglobin
(Hb), Serum ferritin, Serum-iron, Total Iron Binding Capacity (TIBC), Unsaturated Iron Binding
Capacity (UIBC), and Percentage saturation of transferrin. Data generated on these variables were
subjected to ANOVA and correlation analysis. Results: The salient finding of this study is a
significant decrease in Hb, Serum ferritin, Serum iron, percentage saturation of transferrin and a
significant increase in values of TIBC and a pronounced increase in UIBC in 2nd and 3rd trimester
compared to 1st trimester in iron deficient pregnant women. The mean values of Hb, SF, and
Fe/TIBC% were significantly lower in the cases than in the control and significantly higher values of
TIBC and UIBC were observed in the cases compared to controls. Significant correlations were
observed for TIBC, UIBC and Fe/TIBC% against serum iron in different trimesters of pregnancy.
Conclusion: A high percentage of the pregnant women are iron deficient due to factors such as high
parity, poor dietary habits and socioeconomic status.
Keywords: Iron-deficiency, pregnancy, Anaemia, Ferritin, TIBC, UIBC, Transferrin

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