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Iron and folate supplementation in pregnancy

Iron and folate supplementation in pregnancy

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2000(2): Cd001135

Anaemia in pregnancy is a major health problem in many developing countries where nutritional deficiency, malaria and other parasitic infections contribute to increased maternal and perinatal mortality and morbidity. The objective of this review was to assess the effects of routine iron and folate supplementation on haematological and biochemical parameters and on pregnancy outcome. The Cochrane Pregnancy and Childbirth Group trials register was searched. Study authors were also contacted. Acceptably controlled trials of routine iron and folate supplementation for pregnant women. Eligibility and trial quality were assessed by one reviewer. Study authors were contacted for additional information. Eight trials involving 5449 women were included. Routine supplementation with iron or folate raised or maintained the serum iron and ferritin levels and serum and red cell folate levels. Supplementation resulted in a substantial reduction of women with a haemoglobin level below 10 or 10.5 grams in late pregnancy. Routine supplementation with iron and folate had no detectable effect on any substantive measures of either maternal or fetal outcome. Routine supplementation with iron and folate appears to prevent low haemoglobin at delivery. There is very little information on other outcomes for either mother or baby. There are few data derived from communities where iron and folate deficiency is common and anaemia is a serious health problem.

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Accession: 046470964

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 10796246

DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD001135

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