Background: Anemia, particularly pregnancy related iron deficiency anemia, increases the risk of maternal morbidity and mortality and the effects are more devastating in less developed and developing continents where pregnant women have low socioeconomic status. Thus, this study aimed to assess the prevalence and associated factors of anemia and iron deficiency anemia among pregnant women.
Methods: This institution based, cross-sectional study was conducted from January 1 to April 30, 2015 on a total of 217 pregnant women attending at University of Gondar Hospital, Northwest Ethiopia. A structured, pretested questionnaire was used to obtain sociodemographic information, nutritional factors, obstetrics and gynecological factors, and clinical condition. About 3 mL blood sample was collected for hemoglobin and serum ferritin deter-mination. Hgb concentrations and other RBC parameters were analyzed using a Cell Dyne 1800 hematology analyzer. Serum ferritin was measured by an automated Elecsys 1,020 using commercial kits. The data was entered to Epi info version 3.5.3 software and analyzed using SPSS 20. Frequency, proportion, and summery statistics was used to describe the study population in relation to study variables. Bi-variable and multi-variable statistical analysis was used. P-value < 0.05 was considered as statically significant.
Results: Out of 217 women enrolled in the study, 28 (12.9%) were found to be anemic with 75% mild, 21.4% moderate and 3.6% severe type of anemia. Anemia was more prevalent in the first (21%) and third (17.9%) trimesters. The overall prevalence of iron deficiency anemia was 3.2% (7/217) while from anemic pregnant women one fourth (25%) of them developed iron deficiency anemia.
Conclusions: The overall prevalence of anemia was low and it was considered a mild public health problem. In this study, there were no statistically associated risk factors for anemia. Based on this finding, iron supplementation should be encouraged as a prophylactic measure.