EFFECT OF MATERNAL ANAEMIA ON BIRTH WEIGHT

Muhammad Owais Ahmad, Umay Kalsoom, Ume Sughra, Usman Hadi, Muhammad Imran

Abstract


Background: Anaemia is a common medical problem in pregnancy. The extent up to which,
maternal anaemia effects maternal and neonatal health is still uncertain. Maternal anaemia is
commonly considered a risk factor for low birth weight (LBW) babies. Some studies have
demonstrated a strong association between low haemoglobin before delivery and LBW babies.
However, others have not found a significant association. Therefore, there is insufficient information
to assess the overall adverse impact of anaemia during pregnancy. The aim of this study was to
determine whether maternal anaemia would affect the birth weight of the baby and compare this with
that of non-anaemic mothers. It was a cross-sectional comparative study carried out at the maternity
ward of Fauji Foundation Hospital, Rawalpindi. Methods: One hundred subjects divided into two
groups each containing 50 subjects on the basis of consecutive non probability sampling were
included in the study. Group-A included 50 Anaemic pregnant women and Group-B 50 non-anaemic
pregnant women. Information was collected by direct interviewing method through a precoded
structured questionnaire. The Hb level and birth weights were taken from the labour room record.
Results: The mean age of the mothers in anaemic group was found to be older than the non anaemic
group, i.e., (29.44 versus 27.98), though the difference was statistically non significant. The number
of low birth weight infants (64%) was statistically very highly significantly more (p<0.001) in the
anaemic group of mothers than the non anaemic group (10%). Conclusion: The results of this study
show an association of maternal anaemia in pregnancy with increased risk of LBW babies.
Keywords: Maternal anaemia, Perinatal outcome, Low birth weight.

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