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EFFECT OF MATERNAL ANEMIA AT HIGH ALTITUDE ON INFANT HEMATOCRIT AND OXYGENATION

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  • 1 Asociación Benéfica Proyectos en Informática, Salud, Medicina y Agricultura (A. B. PRISMA), Lima, Peru; Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland; Department of Pathology, Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, School of Public Health, Health Administration and School of Medicine, Lima, Peru; EsSalud Hospital, La Oroya, Peru; Department of Pediatrics, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland; Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, New York

Hematocrit levels were determined in 36 mothers living at high altitudes (3,750 meters) and their infant cord bloods to determine the effect of maternal anemia on the infant. The arterial oxygen saturation (SaO2) and respiratory rate of the infants were also followed during the first four months of life. There was a negative correlation between maternal hematocrit and infant hematocrit (rs = − 0.57). Nineteen babies born to anemic women (hematocrit < 41%) had a significantly higher mean hematocrit (59.9%) than those born to non-anemic mothers (55.8%; P = 0.003). The SaO2 levels and respiratory rates of infants were not different between infants born to non-anemic and anemic mothers. At high altitudes, infants from mothers with anemia have higher hematocrits than those born to non-anemic mothers.

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