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Hematology AdvisorMaternal Hemoglobin Levels in Pregnancy Impact Outcomes for Mother and Child

Maternal Hemoglobin Levels in Pregnancy Linked to Adverse Outcomes

A recent study published in Lancet Haematology has shed light on the relationship between maternal hemoglobin levels during pregnancy and the risk of adverse maternal and neonatal outcomes. The study’s findings could have significant implications for antenatal care guidelines.

HCN Medical Memo
These findings underscore the importance of closely monitoring maternal hemoglobin levels throughout pregnancy. The study suggests that both low and high hemoglobin concentrations can be associated with adverse outcomes, indicating a need for a more nuanced approach to managing anemia and other related conditions during pregnancy.

Key Points:
  • The INTERBIO-21st fetal study involved 2,069 pregnant women from Brazil, Kenya, Pakistan, South Africa, and the UK, with a mean age of 30.7 years.
  • The study used a maternal hemoglobin concentration of 110 g/L as the reference threshold, in line with WHO and CDC guidelines.
  • Women with a hemoglobin concentration of 170 g/L had approximately twice the risk of developing pregnancy-induced hypertension compared to the reference threshold (RR, 2.29; 95% CI, 1.19-4.39).
  • Lower hemoglobin levels of 105 g/L were associated with reduced risk of pregnancy-induced hypertension (RR, 0.88; 95% CI, 0.80-0.96).
  • Elevated risks of preterm birth and neonatal acute respiratory distress syndrome were observed at both low and high hemoglobin concentrations.

According to the World Health Organization, approximately 38.2% of pregnant women globally are affected by anemia, a condition that can have serious implications for both maternal and neonatal health.

Additional Points:
  • A total of 4,690 hemoglobin measurements were obtained during the study period, with a median of 3 measurements per participant.
  • The study suggests that an optimal range of hemoglobin concentrations could benefit both maternal and neonatal health.

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