Association of pica with anemia and gastrointestinal distress among pregnant women in Zanzibar, Tanzania

Sera L. Young, Sabra S. Khalfan, Tamer H. Farag, Justine A. Kavle, Said M. Ali, Hamad Hajji, Kathleen M. Rasmussen, Gretel H. Pelto, James M. Tielsch, Rebecca J. Stoltzfus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The etiology of pica, the purposive consumption of non-food substances, is not understood, despite its ubiquity among gravidae. We examined correlates of pica in a representative obstetric population (n = 2,368) on Pemba Island, Zanzibar, Tanzania to examine proposed etiologies. Cross-sectional data were collected on socioeconomic characteristics, food intake, geophagy (earth consumption), amylophagy (raw starch consumption), anthropometry, iron status, parasitic burden, and gastrointestinal morbidities. Amylophagy was reported by 36.3%, geophagy by 5.2%, and any pica by 40.1%. There was a strong additive relationship of geophagy and amylophagy with lower hemoglobin (Hb) concentration and iron deficiency anemia. By multivariate logistic regression, any pica was associated with Hb level (odds ratio [OR] = 0.76, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.72-0.81), nausea (OR = 1.45, 95% CI = 1.20-1.73), and abdominal pain (OR = 1.22, 95% CI = 1.01-1.48). These striking results indicate that the nature of the relationship between pica, pregnancy, gastrointestinal distress, and iron deficiency anemia merits further investigation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)144-151
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
Volume83
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2010

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Pica
Tanzania
Anemia
Pregnant Women
Iron-Deficiency Anemias
Odds Ratio
Confidence Intervals
Hemoglobins
Indian Ocean Islands
Anthropometry
Islands
Starch
Nausea
Abdominal Pain
Obstetrics
Iron
Eating
Logistic Models
Morbidity
Pregnancy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Virology

Cite this

Young, S. L., Khalfan, S. S., Farag, T. H., Kavle, J. A., Ali, S. M., Hajji, H., ... Stoltzfus, R. J. (2010). Association of pica with anemia and gastrointestinal distress among pregnant women in Zanzibar, Tanzania. American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, 83(1), 144-151. https://doi.org/10.4269/ajtmh.2010.09-0442

Association of pica with anemia and gastrointestinal distress among pregnant women in Zanzibar, Tanzania. / Young, Sera L.; Khalfan, Sabra S.; Farag, Tamer H.; Kavle, Justine A.; Ali, Said M.; Hajji, Hamad; Rasmussen, Kathleen M.; Pelto, Gretel H.; Tielsch, James M.; Stoltzfus, Rebecca J.

In: American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, Vol. 83, No. 1, 07.2010, p. 144-151.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Young, SL, Khalfan, SS, Farag, TH, Kavle, JA, Ali, SM, Hajji, H, Rasmussen, KM, Pelto, GH, Tielsch, JM & Stoltzfus, RJ 2010, 'Association of pica with anemia and gastrointestinal distress among pregnant women in Zanzibar, Tanzania', American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, vol. 83, no. 1, pp. 144-151. https://doi.org/10.4269/ajtmh.2010.09-0442
Young, Sera L. ; Khalfan, Sabra S. ; Farag, Tamer H. ; Kavle, Justine A. ; Ali, Said M. ; Hajji, Hamad ; Rasmussen, Kathleen M. ; Pelto, Gretel H. ; Tielsch, James M. ; Stoltzfus, Rebecca J. / Association of pica with anemia and gastrointestinal distress among pregnant women in Zanzibar, Tanzania. In: American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. 2010 ; Vol. 83, No. 1. pp. 144-151.
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