Evaluation of Serum Calcium and Inorganic Phosphate Levels in Pregnant and Lactating Women in Enugu Metropolis
The importance of calcium and inorganic phosphate in pregnancy cannot be overemphasized. Their adequacy or otherwise amongst pregnant and lactating women in Enugu metropolis receiving their routine antenatal supplements was the focus of this study. Two hundred subjects (forty in each trimester; forty lactating and forty controls) were used for this study with informed consent. All subjects were within the age range of 19-40 years. Serum samples were analysed for calcium and inorganic phosphate using titrimetric and colorimetric methods respectively. Our result revealed a steady decrease in calcium from first trimester to lactating period with statistically significant values in second and third trimesters, and lactation (P<0.05) when compared with control (non-pregnant non-lactating women). Statistically significant level of inorganic phosphate (P<0.05) were observed only in the second and third trimesters. The significantly reduced level of calcium and inorganic phosphate during pregnancy and lactation (for calcium) observed in this study is indicative of inadequate calcium intake (dietary) during pregnancy or poor adherence to antenatal prescriptions. Higher provision of these elements and enlightenment on the need for supplementation within the studied metropolis is suggested to avoid the documented consequences of their deficiency to both the mother and the foetus.
Keywords: Serum, Calcium, Inorganic phosphate, Pregnancy, Lactation, Enugu