Moderate to severe, but not mild, maternal anemia is associated with increased risk of small-for-gestational-age outcomes

Naoko Kozuki, Anne C. Lee, Joanne Katz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Anemia is highly prevalent globally, estimated at 40-50% in women of reproductive age. Prior studies have produced inconclusive evidence as to the association between maternal anemia and intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR). We conducted a systematic review of the literature containing associations between maternal anemia and small for gestational age (SGA) outcomes (as a proxy for IUGR). A meta-analysis was performed to pool associations, categorized by the hemoglobin cutoffs presented by the authors. We identified 12 studies reporting associations between maternal anemia and SGA. For the metaanalysis, there were 7 associations with a hemoglobin cutoff < 110 g/L, 7 with a cutoff < 100 g/L, and 5 with a cutoff < 90 or < 80 g/L. Although the < 110- and < 100-g/L categories showed no significant relationship with SGA, the <90- or <80-g/L category was associated with a 53% increase in risk of the newborn being SGA [pooled OR = 1.53 (95% CI: 1.24-1.87); P < 0.001]. Moderate to severe, but not mild, maternal anemia appears to have an association with SGA outcomes, but the findingsmust be viewed with caution due to the great heterogeneity of the studies. Further examination should be conducted using datasets with better standardized definitions and measurements of exposure and outcome.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)358-362
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Nutrition
Volume142
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

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