Indian Journal of Pathology and Microbiology
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Year : 2006  |  Volume : 49  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 373-5

Spectrum of anemia in pregnant Indian women and importance of antenatal screening.

Department of Pathology, Institute of Medical Sciences, BHU, Varanasi

Correspondence Address:
M Sinha
Department of Pathology, Institute of Medical Sciences, BHU, Varanasi

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

PMID: 17001888

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Anemia is a common health problem but control of anemia in pregnant women is less well studied. The purpose was to study prevalence of anemia in young pregnant women, correlate with indices and study significance of identification of hemoglobinopathies. Of the 120 pregnant women, Hb was less than 8 g% in 58 (44.2%). Seventy-eight (65%) had iron deficiency, 22 (18.3%) had dimorphic anemia, and 14 (11.6%) had hemolytic anemia. Megaloblastic anemia was present in 6 (5%). Of hemolytic anemia, 50% were thalassemia trait. MCV< 76 fl was observed in 88 (73.3 %) cases. MCV<76 fl and MCH < 27 pg had 100 % sensitivity and 28.7 % specificity for screening of beta-thalassemia trait. NESTROFT had comparable sensitivity but lower specificity (14.9%). Sixty-three percent (60/78) of IDA had increased RDW whereas 78 % (11/14) of hemolytic anemia had RDW value in normal range (p value< 0.05). MCV/RBC of <14 was more specific parameter (96.8%) for beta-thalassemia trait. Four high-risk couples were identified. Thus, moderate to severe anemia was observed in most pregnant women. Hemoglobinopathies should be screened in antenatal clinics to identify the couples that would need a prenatal test. A lower MCV/RBC with RDWin the normal range may be useful in screening for thalassemia trait in pregnant women.

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