Evaluation of plasma electrolyte concentration in pregnant Nigerian women from Edo State, Nigeria
The renal function status in relation to electrolyte homeostasis was evaluated in a total of one hundred pregnant Nigerian women (volunteers) and thirty non-pregnant controls. The volunteers were of varying maternal age, parity, trimester, weight, height, and social status while the non-pregnant women were of approximate age to serve as control. Analysis of the results revealed that sodium (136.21±0.39mmol/l), potassium (3.69±0.004mmol/l), calcium (2.17 ± 0.02mmol/l), and bicarbonate (20.39 ± 0.26mmol/l) were significantly reduced (P<0.05) when compared to the control (137.97±0.46mmol/l, 4.29±0.09mmol/l, 2.59±0.03mmol/l and 25.87±0.43mmol/l respectively). There was a significant decrease (P<0.05) in sodium, potassium, calcium and bicarbonate concentrations as pregnancy progressed. Maternal age is positively correlated with sodium (r=0.092) and potassium (r=0.100) but inversely correlated with calcium (r=-0.088) and bicarbonate (r=-0.051) concentrations. While parity is inversely correlated with sodium (r=-0.045), potassium (r=-0.155) and calcium (r=-0.175), it was positively correlated with bicarbonate (r=0.015) concentrations. All the electrolytes have positive correlation with gestation (Na+: r=0.249, K+: r=0.204, Ca2+: r=0.004 and HCO3-: r=0.056) while social status was inversely correlated to all the parameters (Na+: r=-0.151, K+: r=-0.075, Ca2+: r=-0.046 and HCO3-: r=0.023;P<0.05). Nutrition, environmental condition and child’s spacing may have influenced the parameters and their implications with respect to proper fetal development are discussed.
Key words: Pregnancy, electrolytes.