Prevalence of anemia and associated factors among pregnant women in an urban area of Eastern Ethiopia

Type Journal Article - Anemia
Title Prevalence of anemia and associated factors among pregnant women in an urban area of Eastern Ethiopia
Volume 2014
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2014
Anemia, defined as a decreased concentration of blood
hemoglobin, is one of the most common nutritional deficiency
diseases observed globally and affects more than a
quarter of the world’s population [1–8]. It is a major public
health problem affecting all ages of the population with its
highest prevalence among children under five years of age and
pregnant women [2, 3]. Globally, anemia affects 1.62 billion
people (25%), among which 56 million are pregnant women
[1, 2].
Anemia during pregnancy is considered severe when
hemoglobin concentration is less than 7.0 g/dL, moderate
when hemoglobin falls between 7.0–9.9 g/dL, and mild from
10.0-11 g/dL [2–4]. Anemia during pregnancy is a major cause
of morbidity and mortality of pregnant women in developing
countries and has both maternal and fetal consequences [9–
13]. It is estimated that anemia causes more than 115,000
maternal and 591,000 perinatal deaths globally per year [3].
In developing countries, the cause of anemia during pregnancy
is multifactorial and includes nutritional deficiencies
of iron, folate, and vitamin B12 and also parasitic diseases,
such as malaria and hookworm. The relative contribution
of each of these factors to anemia during pregnancy varies
greatly by geographical location, season, and dietary practice.
In Sub-Saharan Africa, iron and folate deficiencies are the
most common causes of anemia in pregnant women [14].
Anemia has a variety of converging contributing factors
including nutritional, genetic, and infectious disease factors;
however, iron deficiency is the cause of 75% of anemia cases
[2, 5, 8–15]. Iron deficiency anemia affects the development
of the nation by decreasing the cognitive development of
children and productivity of adults [2, 10].
Seventeen percent of Ethiopian women in the reproductive
age group are anemic and 22% of these women
are currently pregnant [16]. Despite its known effect on the
population, there is very little data available in the study area.
Therefore, this study is aimed at determining the prevalence
of anemia in pregnant women and identifying its associated
factors in the Somali Region of Eastern Ethiopia.

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