Iron overload and pregnancy outcome among Sudanese women
Dispensing iron tablets to pregnant women at antenatal clinics is a common practice in Sudan. Iron overload and, consequently, oxidative stress is a possible risk.
Objective: In this study, we examined the iron status in pregnant women in correlation to pregnancy outcome.
Subjects and methods: The study was conducted in Khartoum state, Sudan in the period December 2007 – February 2009. Venous blood samples were obtained from 123 women at delivery. Undesirable pregnancy outcomes as preeclampsia, low birth weight, caesarean sections and preterm delivery, if any, were recorded. Serum iron and hematological parameters were determined. Results: Mothers were grouped, according to their serum iron levels, as low serum iron (LSI: < 50 μg/dl, n=14), normal serum iron (NSI: 50 - 170 μg/dl, n=98) and iron overload (IOL: >170 μg/dl, n=11) groups. The incidence of preeclampsia was highest among the IOL group (72.7%), followed by the LSI group (35.7%) and lowest among the NSI (19.4%) group, p=. The mean babies’ birth weights were comparable among the IOL and the LSI groups but both were significantly lower than that among the NSI group.
Conclusion: Iron supplementation to pregnant women must be rationalized so that women will benefit without developing undesirable effects.
Key words: iron, oxidative stress, preeclampsia.