Volume 87, Issue 3
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



The risk factors for maternal anemia (hemoglobin level less than 110 g/L) were studied in human immunodeficiency virus–negative pregnant women in Benin at the time of first antenatal visit and prior to any prevention. Data for the first 1,005 pregnant women included in a multicentre randomized controlled trial were analyzed. Anemia was common (68.3%), and malaria and helminth infestations were prevalent in 15.2% and 11.1% of the women. A total of 33.3%, 31.3% and 3.6% of the women were iron, folic acid and vitamin B12 deficient, respectively. These parasitic infections and nutrient deficiencies were associated with a high risk of anemia. Twenty-one percent, 15%, 12%, 11% and 7% of anemia were attributable to malnutrition, malaria, iron, folic acid deficiencies, and helminth infestations, respectively. Most anemia was caused by factors that could be prevented by available tools, stressing the need to reinforce their implementation and to evaluate their effectiveness throughout the course of the pregnancy.


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  • Received : 11 Nov 2011
  • Accepted : 03 Mar 2012
  • Published online : 05 Sep 2012

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