Prevalence and Risk Factors of Anaemia Among Pregnant women in Nigeria

F.I. Buseri1, E. K. Uko2, Z. A. Jeremiah *, 1, E.A. Usanga 2
1 Department of Medical Laboratory Science, Niger Delta University, Wilberforce Island, Bayelsa State, Nigeria
2 Department of Haematology and Blood Transfusion University of Calabar Teaching Hospital Calabar, Nigeria

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© 2008 Buseri et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Medical Laboratory Sciences, Niger Delta University, Wilberforce Island, Bayelsa State, Nigeria; Tel: 234-803-370-5675; E-mail:


To assess the prevalence and risk factors of anaemia in pregnancy and recommend a cut-off value for antenatal women in developing countries, a cross sectional study was carried in the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital, Port Harcourt, a 523 bed tertiary health care institution in Nigeria. 1371 apparently healthy asymptomatic pregnant women visiting the antenatal clinic for the first time were enrolled for the study. Another 60 age-matched non-pregnant apparently healthy women served as controls. Haemoglobin concentration, malaria, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)S, haemoglobin electrophoretic pattern and C-reactive protein as marker of infection were investigated using standard haematological and serological procedures. Anaemia in pregnancy (Hb <11.0g/dl) and (Hb<10.0g/dl) were found to be 23.2% and 6.7% respectively. The aetiology of anaemia was found to be multifactorial; 40.2% had anaemia of infection, 20.3% had Plasmodium falciparum alone, 8.5% had HIV alone, 2.5% had HIV and malaria parasite co-infection; 8.9% undetermined infections and 0.6% had sickle cell anaemia. There is moderate prevalence of anaemia in pregnancy in this part of the world. Since the mean Hb value of the pregnant women in this study was 11.62±1.21g/dl and the pregnant women with Hb values around 10g/dl are apparently healthy, a cut-off value of 10.0g/dl may be considered ideal for defining anaemia in pregnancy in developing countries.

Keywords: Anaemia in pregnancy, Risk factors of anaemia, Prevalence, Nigeria.