British Society for Haematology. Listening. Learning. Leading British Society for Haematology. Listening. Learning. Leading
04 April 2018

A new global study has shown how anaemia during pregnancy is linked to an increased risk of maternal death.

Researchers led by Dr Jahnavi Daru of Queen Mary University of London, UK, say they have carried out the largest study of its kind.

This looked at data on 312,281 pregnancies in 29 countries, provided by the World Health Organisation. The countries were in Latin America, Africa, Western Pacific, Eastern Mediterranean and South East Asia.

Just over 1% of the women had severe anaemia, defined as a red blood cell count of less than 70 grams per litre of blood. Compared with women without severe anaemia, the odds of maternal death during or shortly after pregnancy were doubled. This link was observed in all the geographical areas, and when using different statistical approaches.

Findings appeared in The Lancet Global Health. The authors suggest there is an independent relationship between severe anaemia and maternal death, and that prevention and treatment of maternal anaemia must remain a global public health and research priority.

Dr Daru says that women in low and middle income countries are at risk of anaemia because of higher rates of dietary iron deficiency, inherited blood disorders, nutrient deficiencies and infections such as malaria, HIV and hookworm.

"Anaemia in pregnancy is one of the most common medical problems pregnant women encounter both in low and high income countries," she said.

"We've now shown that if a woman develops severe anaemia at any point in her pregnancy or in the seven days after delivery, she is at a higher risk of dying, making urgent treatment even more important.

"Clinicians, policy makers and health care professionals should now focus their attention on preventing anaemia, using a multifaceted approach, not just hoping that iron tablets will solve the problem."

Source: Daru, J. et al. The risk of maternal mortality in women with severe anaemia in pregnancy and the postpartum: a multilevel analysis. The Lancet Global Health 21 March 2018; doi: 10.1016/S2214-109X(18)30078-0


Source: Daru, J. et al. The risk of maternal mortality in women with severe anaemia in pregnancy and the postpartum: a multilevel analysis. The Lancet Global Health 21 March 2018; doi: 10.1016/S2214-109X(18)30078-0

Link: http://www.thelancet.com/journals/langlo/article/PIIS2214-109X(18)30078-0/fulltext

 

 

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