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[Prevalence and factors associated with anemia in pregnant women attending the General Hospital in Douala].

ABSTRACT

Anemia is a public health problem, prevalent among children and women of childbearing age. Our study aims to determine the prevalence and factors associated with anemia in pregnant women at Douala General Hospital.We conducted a cross sectional study from July 2012 to July 2013. All consenting pregnant women attending antenatal consultation and having undergone complete blood count (CBC) were included in the study. Sociodemographic characteristics, individual's obstetrical history and the results of the CBC were recorded on a pre tested data collection sheet. Anemia was defined according to the WHO criteria. After some descriptive statistics, we performed a bivariate analysis using the Chi-square test and Fisher exact probability test in order to determine the factors associated with anemia. P value <0.05 was considered significant.A total of 415 pregnant women were enrolled in the study. Anemia prevalence was 39,8%. The average age was 29,89±4,835 years. The mean hemoglobin level was 10.93 ± 1.23. Normochromic normocytic anemia (53,3%) was prevalent. Anaemia was severe in 2,4% of cases. Anemia in pregnancy was significantly associated with a personal history of chronic diseases (P = 0.02) and of anemia in a previous pregnancy (P = 0.003). Anemia was more frequently observed during the 3rd trimester (P = 0.04) and breastfeeding played a protective role (P = 0.02).The prevalence of anemia during pregnancy remains high. A better management of chronic diseases in pregnant women and of postpartum follow-up is necessary to treat anemia before a subsequent pregnancy.