A study on prevalence of anemia in pregnancy in South India

Sarala V., Ushadevi Gopalan


Background: Anemia in pregnancy is a major health problem worldwide, especially in developing countries like India. Maternal and fetal outcomes are poor in pregnant patients with anemia. The most important cause of anemia is iron deficiency anemia which can be prevented by early oral iron supplementation.

Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted in the department of obstetrics and gynecology of our tertiary care teaching institution for a period of one year. 1290 pregnant women coming to the antenatal OPD were screened for anemia and 490 women. Patients who were not anemic were excluded. 800 patients were enrolled in the study. Each patient was interviewed using a structured interview schedule and the data obtained was analyzed.

Results: The percentage of anemia in pregnant women was 62% in our study of which 40% were mildly anemic, 55% were moderately anemic and 5% were severely anemic. Maximum number of anemic women -mild, moderate and severe was seen in the age group 20-24 years. Mild and severe anemia was seen more in the secondary educated women. Maximum percentage of anemia was seen in the lower socio-economic status followed by middle and was lowest in the higher socio-economic status group. Prevalence of anemia was almost equal in primigravida and multigravidas (around 50%) but 80% of severely anemic patients were multigravida. Almost 68% took iron and folic acid tablets regularly.

Conclusions: Treating anemia in pregnant women will go a long way in improving maternal and fetal outcome. Hence a future healthy younger generation can be produced. Iron tablets can be distributed at school to young girls to prevent anemia in future women.


Anemia, Hemoglobin, Iron supplementation, Maternal mortality

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