East African Medical Journal

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Effect of treatment of anaemia in pregnancy with oral haematinics on pregnancy outcomes at Kenyatta National Hospital

J Chesang, K Kamau, G Kitonyi, G Kamau


Objective: To assess the effect of treatment of anaemia in pregnancy with oral haematinics on pregnancy outcome.

Design: Prospective cohort study.

Setting: Kenyatta National Hospital.

Participants: The exposed were pregnant women with haemoglobin (Hb) concentration of 6-10g/dl at 28-34 weeks of gestation recruited sequentially and the unexposed were pregnant women with Hb ≥11g/dl individually matched by age, parity and gestational age to the exposed.

Interventions: The exposed received Ranferon one capsule twice daily and the unexposed received one capsule once daily.

Main outcome measures: Haematological response, weight gain and body mass index (BMI) over the pregnancy period, estimated blood loss at delivery, participants’ temperature 24 hours post-delivery and foetal outcome (birth weight and Apgar score).

Results: There were 69 exposed and 69 unexposed women available for analysis. After four weeks of treatment, 78.3% of the exposed had Hb ≥11g/dl. In addition, statistically significant differences in the mean increase in Hb concentration, mean corpuscular volume and mean corpuscular haemoglobin between the exposed and unexposed were observed (P <0.001, P = 0.005 and P = 0.005, respectively). Differences in weight gain, change in BMI, estimated blood loss at delivery, temperature 24 hours post-delivery and infants birth weight between the exposed and unexposed were not statistically significant. There was no difference in the Apgar score between the two arms.

Conclusion: Treatment of mild to moderate anaemia in the third trimester of pregnancy with oral haematinics results in outcomes similar to those in women without anaemia but on routine supplementation.

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