Prevalence and risk factors for micronutrient deficiencies during pregnancy in Cayenne, French Guiana
Background: Involved in physical and brain development, immunity and metabolism, micronutrients have profound health effects. The nutritional status of pregnant women is a major determinant of foetal health. French Guiana has a rapid population growth. Social inequalities, cultural practices and gastrointestinal nematode infections in French Guiana could affect the prevalence of these deficiencies. The main objective of the present study was to estimate the prevalence of micronutrient deficiency among pregnant women in French Guiana. The secondary objective was to identify socio-demographic, dietary, obstetrical and neonatal risk factors associated with deficiencies.
Methods: Pregnant women over 22 weeks of pregnancy hospitalized for delivery at the Obstetrical Emergency Department of the Hospital Center in Cayenne from May 2018 to March 2019 were included. A socio-demographic and food questionnaire was administered. Medical data were collected from the medical records. Blood and urine samples were taken. The descriptive analysis used Student and chi-squared tests.
Results: A total of 341 women were included. The majority were born in Haiti (39%) and French Guiana (34%). At least one micronutrient deficiency was observed in 81% of women. Precarious women had a significantly greater risk of micronutrient deficiency during pregnancy compared to those with both normal and complementary health insurance.
Conclusions: Micronutrient deficiencies in pregnant women in French Guiana are a public health problem, a fact that was previously overlooked in the context of rising obesity. With over half the women overweight or obese, and 81% with at least 1 micronutrient deficiency, balanced nutrition should be a major focus.
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