South African Family Practice

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Sociodemographic factors in anaemia in pregnancy in south-western Nigeria

MO Owolabi, AO Owolabi, DA OlaOlorun


Background: Anaemia in pregnancy persists, especially in third world countries where poor diet, low levels of literacy, infections, infestations and cultural practices predispose pregnant women to being anaemic. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of anaemia in pregnancy and to identify the possible associations between socio-economic status and anaemia in pregnancy among antenatal care seekers at Baptist Medical Centre, Ogbomoso, Oyo State, Nigeria.
Method: A total of 350 pregnant women were recruited at booking from the antenatal clinic of the hospital. A standardised questionnaire was administered to collect sociodemographic data. The subjects were stratified into upper, middle and lower socio-economic groups according to a scoring system designed by Olusanya et al. for Nigeria and other African countries.
Anaemia is defined as a haemoglobin level of less than 11 g/dl by the World Health Organization.
Results: The prevalence of anaemia in pregnancy was 58.0% in the study population. Anaemia prevalence was significantly higher among the subjects in the middle and lower socio-economic classes: 78.3% and 80.3% respectively (P < 0.05). The majority of the severely anaemic subjects (80.0%) were from the lower social class.
Conclusion: The prevalence of anaemia in pregnancy was found to be high in this population. Low socio-economic status is significantly associated with increased prevalence and severity of anaemia. It is recommended that the socio-economic situation of women be improved. This no doubt will help to reduce anaemia in pregnancy.
AJOL African Journals Online