In pregnancy, anemia is an important factor associated with an increased risk of maternal, fetal, and neonatal mortality, poor pregnancy outcomes, and impaired cognitive development, particularly in developing countries like Ethiopia. This study aimed to assess prevalence and factors associated with anemia among pregnant women attending antenatal clinic at St. Paul's Hospital Millennium Medical College, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
A cross-sectional health facility based study was conducted on 284 pregnant women to assess prevalence and factors associated with anemia at St. Paul's Hospital Millennium Medical College from June to August 2014. Data on sociodemographic and clinical characteristics of the study participants were collected using a pretested structured questionnaire by interview and review of medical records. About 4 ml of venous blood was collected from each subject for peripheral blood film and complete blood counts (CBC). Binary Logistic regression analysis had been used to check for association between dependent and independent variables. In all cases, P value less than 0.05 was considered statistically significant.
The prevalence of anemia was found to be 11.6% (95 % CI; 7.8%-14.8%). Pregnant women in the second [AOR (95% CI), 6.72 (1.17-38.45), and P=0.03] and third trimester [AOR (95% CI), 8.31 (1.24-55.45), and P=0.029] were more likely to be anemic when compared to pregnant women in their first trimester. Pregnant women who did not receive iron/folic acid supplementation [AOR (95%CI), 4.03(1.49-10.92), and P=0.01] were more likely to be anemic when compared to pregnant women who did take supplementations.
In this study the prevalence of anemia in pregnancy was low compared to the findings of others. Gestational age (trimester) and iron/folic acid supplementation were statistically associated with anemia. Therefore, iron supplementation and health education to create awareness about the importance of early booking for antenatal care are recommended to reduce anemia.