Anemia is emerging as a threat that can increase mortality risk in pregnant women, revealed research. The study involved over 300,000 women across 29 countries.
Anemia -- a condition characterised by the lack of healthy red blood cells -- affects 32 million pregnant women worldwide and up to half of all pregnant women in low and middle-income countries.
The study, led by one of an Indian-origin and published in the journal The Lancet Global Health, showed that the odds of maternal death were twice as high in those with severe anemia compared with those without severe anemia. Severe anemia was defined as antenatal or postnatal haemoglobin concentrations of less than 70 g/L in a blood sample obtained before death.
For the study, the team looked at World Health Organization (WHO) data on 3,12,281 pregnancies in 29 countries across Latin America, Africa, Western Pacific, Eastern Mediterranean, and South East Asia. Of these, 4,189 women had severe anemia and were matched with 8,218 women without severe anemia.