The prevalence of anemia and iron deficiency among pregnant Ghanaian women, a longitudinal study

Ruth A. Pobee, Jacob Setorglo, Moses Klevor, Laura E. Murray-Kolb

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6 Scopus citations


Background Gestational iron deficiency (ID) can be deleterious to mother and fetus. However, iron status is not routinely measured during pregnancy in Ghana. Therefore, the scope of ID in this population is unknown. Objective To determine the prevalence of anemia and ID across pregnancy in the Central Region of Ghana. Methods Women were recruited during their 1st trimester of pregnancy (< 13 weeks; n = 116) and followed through to their 2nd (n = 71) and 3rd (n = 71) trimesters. Data on socio-demographic variables, weekly intake of iron-rich foods and vitamin C-rich fruits were collected. Blood samples were drawn and the concentrations of hemoglobin (Hb), ferritin (Ft), serum iron (sFe), total iron binding capacity (TIBC), were measured; transferrin saturation (TSAT) was calculated. Repeated measures ANOVA was used to determine change in anemia and iron variables over time with groups categorized by 1st trimester iron status. Results Participants were 27.1 ± 5.2 years, on average. Prevalence of anemia (Hb <11.0 g/dL) was 37%, 63%, 58%; ID (Ft <15 μg/L) was 16%, 20%, 38%; and iron deficiency anemia (IDA; based on low Ft and Hb) was 6%, 12%, 25% in 1st, 2nd and 3rd trimesters, respectively. Significant changes in Hb, Ft and TIBC occurred across time. Iron status at 1st trimester had a significant effect on 2nd but not 3rd trimester iron status. Conclusions ID is prevalent in pregnant Ghanaian women, especially during the 3rdm trimester. Anemia is a major public health problem during pregnancy in Ghana with a significant proportion due to factors other than ID.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0248754
JournalPloS one
Issue number3 March
StatePublished - Mar 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


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