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Iron requirements and iron balance during pregnancy. Is iron supplementation needed for pregnant women?



Iron requirements and iron balance during pregnancy. Is iron supplementation needed for pregnant women?



Ugeskrift for Laeger 159(41): 6057-6062



Among fertile, nonpregnant, Danish women, 33% have absent or reduced iron stores; 22% have serum ferritin values above 70 micrograms/l, i.e., iron reserves of more than 530 mg, corresponding to the net iron losses during a normal pregnancy. During pregnancy, the demands for absorbed iron increase from 0.8 to 7.5 mg/day. Controlled studies show that iron-treated pregnant women have higher serum ferritin levels, i.e., larger iron stores, and higher haemoglobin levels than placebo-treated women. A supplement of 66 mg ferrous iron daily from the beginning of the 2nd trimester prevents iron deficiency anaemia. In Denmark, general iron prophylaxis with 60-70 mg ferrous iron daily from 20 weeks of gestation is recommended by the health authorities.

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Accession: 046471387

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PMID: 9381577


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