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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Severe anaemia is associated with a higher risk for preeclampsia and poor perinatal outcomes in Kassala hospital, eastern Sudan

AbdelAziem A Ali1, Duria A Rayis2, Tajeldin M Abdallah1, Mustafa I Elbashir2 and Ishag Adam2*

Author Affiliations

1 Faculty of Medicine, Kassala University, Kassala, Sudan

2 Faculty of Medicine, University of Khartoum, Khartoum, Sudan

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BMC Research Notes 2011, 4:311  doi:10.1186/1756-0500-4-311

Published: 26 August 2011

Abstract

Background

Anaemia during pregnancy is major health problem. There is conflicting literature regarding the association between anaemia and its severity and maternal and perinatal outcomes.

Methods

This is a retrospective case-control study conducted at Kassala hospital, eastern Sudan. Medical files of pregnant women with severe anaemia (haemoglobin (Hb) < 7 g/dl, n = 303) who delivered from January 2008 to December 2010 were reviewed. Socio-demographic and obstetric data were analysed and compared with a similar number of women with mild/moderate anaemia (Hb = 7-10.9 g/dl, n = 303) and with no anaemia (Hb > 11 g/dl, n = 303). Logistic regression analysis was performed separately for each of the outcome measures: preeclampsia, eclampsia, preterm birth, low birth weight (LBW) and stillbirth.

Results

There were 9578 deliveries at Kassala hospital, 4012 (41.8%) women had anaemia and 303 (3.2%) had severe anaemia. The corrected risk for preeclampsia increased only in severe anaemia (OR = 3.6, 95% CI: 1.4-9.1, P = 0.007). Compared with women with no anaemia, the risk of LBW was 2.5 times higher in women with mild/moderate anaemia (95% CI: 1.1-5.7), and 8.0 times higher in women with severe anaemia (95% CI: 3.8-16.0). The risk of preterm delivery increased significantly with the severity of anaemia (OR = 3.2 for women with mild/moderate anaemia and OR = 6.6 for women with severe anaemia, compared with women with no anaemia). The corrected risk for stillbirth increased only in severe anaemia (OR = 4.3, 95% CI: 1.9-9.1, P < 0.001).

Conclusions

The greater the severity of the anaemia during pregnancy, the greater the risk of preeclampsia, preterm delivery, LBW and stillbirth. Preventive measures should be undertaken to decrease the prevalence of anaemia in pregnancy.