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Medline ® Abstract for Reference 18

of 'Maternal adaptations to pregnancy: Hematologic changes'

Iron supplementation in pregnancy--evidence and controversies.
Haram K, Nilsen ST, Ulvik RJ
Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand. 2001;80(8):683.
Approximately 20% of women in industrialized countries have iron deficiency in pregnancy. This article focuses on the diagnostic problem of anemia and iron deficiency and discusses different strategies for iron supplementation in pregnancy. S-ferritin is commonly used to diagnose empty iron stores and is considered useful early in pregnancy as a diagnostic tool. Mean cellular volume (MCV), s-Fe and erythrocyte distribution width is too unspecific. Serum transferrin receptor (sTfR) is a relatively novel promising indicator of iron deficiency. Iron demands of the pregnant women are discussed as well as the dietary content of iron. Both beneficial and adverse effects of iron supplementation are outlined. It is not documented that supplementation has any substantial effect on birth weight or various complications in pregnancy. However, supplementation corrects the iron store and biochemical parameters of iron deficiency including hemoglobin concentration (Hb) and maintains the maternal iron stores in the puerperium. Recent literature also suggests that iron supply to the pregnant women may have beneficial effects on the iron content of neonates the first year of life.
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Haukeland University Hospital, N-5021 Bergen, Norway. kjell.haram@haukeland.no