The prevalence of hypocalcemia in pregnancy and peurperium in northwestern Nigeria.
Background: The occurrence of hypocalcaemia in pregnancy and puerperium is not often reported in literature even though calcium supplementation is not routine in Nigeria. A finding of a relatively increased number of cases seen with hypocalcaemia in pregnancy and following childbirth necessitated a review of records to find risk factors and other associations.
Objectives: To evaluate the prevalence of hypocalcaemia and identify risk factors for its occurrence among women presenting with carpopedal spasm in pregnancy and puerperium in our area of practice.
Study Design Setting And Subjects: This is a five year retrospective study involving the retrieval of patient records presenting with carpopedal spasms from 1st June 2010 to 30th June 2015 at Rasheed Shekoni specialist hospital, Duste Jigawa State Nigeria
Method: The total number of deliveries within review period as well as the case records of women presenting with features of hypocalcaemia were retrieved manually and relevant data extracted including demographics, parity and duration of symptoms as well as laboratory indices. Analysis was done using relevant statistical software.
Result: There were a total of 3989 deliveries with 52 presenting with carpopedal spasm giving a prevalence of 1.3%. The average age was 26.6 years ± 6.6 years and parity of 4.1±2.9. The mean serum calcium level was 1.72mmol/l ± 0.32 mmol/l. There was a negative correlation between parity and serum calcium levels (ρ= - 0.296, p=0.151)
Conclusion: The prevalence of hypocalcaemia at 1.3% was higher than earlier reports elsewhere. High parity was found to be a likely risk factor. We suggest that calcium supplementation should be considered for these groups of women who in addition have other risk factors in the antenatal period.
Keywords: Parathormone, 1, 25-dihydroxyvitamin D, Hypocalcemia, Parity
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