Original article / research
Study of Serum Iron and Magnesium Levels in Pregnancy and its Relation to Dietary Intake
Dr. K Uma Maheshwari,
No.6, GLN Residency, Block 4, E3 Flat, Vaishnava College Road, Lakshmi Nagar, Chromepet, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India.
Introduction: Iron is an essential micronutrient which is required to meet the growing demands of the mother and foetus during pregnancy. Iron supplementation during pregnancy is commonly practiced worldwide. Despite supplementation, the prevalence of Iron Deficiency Anaemia (IDA) in pregnancy is high. Severe anaemia in pregnancy is attributed to adverse pregnancy outcomes such as low birth weight, pre mature birth and increased maternal mortality. Magnesium deficiency during pregnancy has also been associated with eclampsia, pre-eclampsia, preterm births and low birth weight.
Aim: To assess the serum levels of iron and magnesium and its association with dietary patterns and demographic characteristics among rural pregnant women in Chengalpattu, Tamil Nadu, India.
Materials and Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted among 54 pregnant women without any comorbid conditions. Serum iron levels and Total Iron Binding Capacity (TIBC) were estimated by Ferrozine method and magnesium levels were estimated by Calmagite method. Dietary intake of iron and magnesium was assessed by weekly food frequency questionnaire and their daily intake was calculated. Statistical analysis was performed by Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) software.
Results: It was observed that there was a high prevalence of IDA in the rural pregnant women with mean haemoglobin values of 10.04±1.04 gm/dL. Mean serum iron levels were 95.74±37.50 μg/dL (35-145 μg/dL). Mean serum TIBC values were 171.78±90.78 μg/dL (250-450 μg/dL). Mean serum magnesium levels were 1.93±0.26 mg/dL (1.3-2.5 mg/dL) in the study population. About 24.1% of the participants had reduced dietary intake of iron lesser than 40 mg/day and magnesium intake was lesser than 300 mg/day in all the study participants. There was a statistically significant negative association between serum iron levels with maternal age and dietary intake in pregnant women (p-value<0.05). There was also a statistically significant negative association between serum magnesium levels with gestational age and parity (p-value<0.05).
Conclusion: Multiple Micronutrient (MMN) supplementations which include iron, folic acid, magnesium, zinc can be advocated in pregnancy for better outcomes and to reduce pregnancy associated morbidity and mortality. Awareness on the intake of fruits, vegetables, non-vegetarian food intake should be re-emphasised especially among rural pregnant women.
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