Dietary Habit and Prevalence of Anemia Among Pregnant Women Attending Antenatal Clinic During their third Trimester and Concentration of Micronutrient in Cord Blood: Effect on Neonatal Birth Weight

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Addis Ababa University


Background: Micronutrients are life sustaining nutrients that are needed in small quantities for effective functioning of human metabolic activities and development. Deficiency of most micronutrients can result in adverse pregnancy and birth outcomes. Objective: To determine the influence of third trimester pregnant women's dietary habit on anemia status, cord blood micronutrient concentration and neonatal birth weight. Method: A prospective case series study design and convenient sampling technique were used. 123 third trimester pregnant women were interviewed to assess their socio-demographic characteristics, dietary pattern, and clinical conditions. The hemoglobin values of the women were determined using HemoCue. Among these subjects, neonatal birth weight and cord blood was collected from 57 subjects out of whom 49 delivered at term. The cord blood micronutrient concentrations were determined using atomic absorption spectroscopy. Descriptive analysis, Bivariate, and multivariable regression analysis were the statistical tools used in this study. Results: About 35.8 % of the pregnant women were anemic. The mean age (years) of the pregnant women was 25.8 ± 5.4 (SD) and 55.3 % were multiparous. The most commonly consumed food by the subjects was cereals (98.4%) and coffee was found to be the most commonly consumed drink (93.5%). Majority of the pregnant women (57.8 %) had three meals a day. Maternal factors such as, dietary diversity score (β = 0.413, P = 0.003), level of education (β = 0.541, P < 0.001), body mass index (β = 0.162, P = 0.013), consumption of cereals (r = 0.407, P = 0.001) and carbonated drinks (β = 0.954, P = 0.002) had positive linear relationship with hemoglobin. Whereas, factors such as the amount of cups of tea taken per day (β = -0.374, P = 0.021), consumption of legumes (β = -0.579, P = 0.014), roots and tubers (β = -0.700, P = 0.004), and level of fasting (r = -0.374, P = 0.038) were negatively associated with hemoglobin. Preeclampsia (r = 0.258, P=0.038), and vitamin A-rich foods (β = -0.228, P = 0.048) were found to be predictors of anemia. The maternal age (β = -1.867, P = 0.038), body mass index (r = - 0.330, P = 0.010) and preeclampsia (β = -0.653, P = 0.001) showed negative correlation with cord blood iron, calcium and zinc concentration respectively. The amount of coffee taken per day was also negatively associated with cord blood calcium concentration (β = -24.997, P = 0.018). Parity, consumption of roots and tubers and umbilical cord blood iron concentration were important predictors of neonatal birth weight (β = -0.336, P = 0.007, β = -0.196, P = 0.037and β = -0.158, P = 0.005) respectively. Conclusion: The dietary pattern, nutritional status, and pre-eclempsia of third trimester pregnant women were associated with maternal anemia and cord blood micronutrient concentration. Root and tuber consumption, cord blood iron concentration, and parity were negatively associated with neonatal birth weight. Health education that includes reproductive health and optimal nutrition during pregnancy is needed.



Anemia, Third Trimester Pregnant Women, Umbilical Cord Blood Micronutrient Concentration, Dietary Habit