Impact of daily and weekly iron supplementation to women in pregnancy and puerperium on haemoglobin and iron status six weeks postpartum: results from a community-based study in Bangladesh
AbstractBackground: Anaemia and iron-deficiency anaemia in women are global problems that are prevalent throughout the reproductive cycle. Data are scarce on whether iron supplementation in pregnancy and puerperium has a sustained effect on haemoglobin concentration. Objective: To assess whether there is a dose effect of iron supplementation in pregnancy and puerperium on haemoglobin 6 weeks after delivery, and compare the effectiveness of daily and weekly dose regimens at 6 weeks postpartum. Design: 50 antenatal centres were assigned randomly to 1×60 mg iron daily or 2×60 mg once weekly. Data are reported for 146 women (daily, n=67; weekly, n=79): haemoglobin, serum ferritin (sFt) and serum transferrin receptors (sTfR) at baseline and at 6 weeks postpartum. Tablet intake was monitored using pill-bottles equipped with electronic counting devices. Results: There was a dose effect of iron supplementation on haemoglobin concentration at 6 weeks postpartum. Endpoint attaine d haemoglobin, sFt and sTfR did not differ between daily and weekly groups, although a larger increment of sFt was found in the daily group (p=0.03). Conclusions: Effects of iron supplementation in pregnancy and puerperium were observed at 6 weeks after delivery. The size of the effect was dependent on the number of tablets, not on daily or weekly regimen. It is not known whether the effects of iron supplementation in pregnancy are sustained into the next pregnancy. Keywords: Bangladesh, haemoglobin, iron status, iron supplementation, pregnancy, puerperium.
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