Relationship between mean corpuscular haemoglobin concentration and placental alkaline phosphatase activity among pregnant women in Nigeria
The relationship between mean corpuscular haemoglobin concentration (MCHC), a maker of folate status in our environment and placental alkaline phosphatase (pALP) activity value, and hence, birth weight measures was investigated. One thousand and three pregnant women between 15-22 week gestation age were selected from some clinics in Delta state. The study area covered the six major tribes in the state. The women who were monitored throughout the period of gestation were between 18-35 years of age. The apparently healthy subjects were classified into two groups depending on the MCHC value at term. Group A (low MCHC:280-329 g/L; n=551) and group B (normal MCHC: 330-370 g/L; n=451). Results show that MCHC level relates positively with pALP activity and birth (placental and neonatal) weight measures. Socio-demographic data implicate illiteracy, low household income, poor diet and inadequate antenatal care for the observed reduction in MCHC among the group A subjects. Thus, MCHC and pALP can be used to monitor fetoplacental health. Albeit, the public should be educated on the importance of healthy diet and good antenatal care.