Might high body mass index contribute to anemia in pregnancy in malaria‑endemic areas?

  • Ikeola A. Adeoye
  • Timothy A.O. Oluwasola
  • Chioma E. Umezurike
  • Oluwafunke A. Oluwatoba
Keywords: Anemia in pregnancy, malaria, obese, overweight

Abstract

Background: Anemia in pregnancy has remained a public health challenge in the developing countries. The emerging epidemiological and nutritional transitions as well as the decrease in malaria burden make investigating other causes of anemia imperative. We hypothesized that high body mass index (BMI) might contribute to anemia in pregnancy in malaria‑endemic regions.

Materials and Methods: Using a two‑stage sampling technique, we interviewed 338 pregnant women and antenatal care  attendees at primary health‑care centers in Ibadan, Oyo State. Blood and stool samples were collected from all the study participants. Thick and thin blood films were prepared for the identification of malaria parasite while Kato–Katz technique was used for quantification soil‑transmitted helminthes in the stool samples. Multivariate logistic regression analysis was performed to assess the association between malaria and high BMI with anemia while controlling for the established causes of anemia in pregnancy.

Results: The prevalence of anemia was 47.9%. About half, 50.8% of the study population had normal weight while 43.8% were overweight/obese. Malaria (AOR 2.54 and 95% CI: 1.40 - 4.61), gestational age (AOR: 1.96 and 95% CI: 1.18–3.25), and being overweight/obese (AOR: 1.96 and 95% CI: 1.18–3.25) were associated with anemia in pregnancy.

Conclusion: Malaria remains a significant cause of anemia in pregnancy, but the association between BMI and anemia will require further investigation among the Nigerian pregnant population.

Keywords: Anemia in pregnancy; malaria; obese; overweight

Published
2019-02-15
Section
Articles

eISSN: 0189-5117