Burden of iron deficiency anemia in obstetrics

Angelos Daniilidis1, Dimitrios Balaouras1, Dimitrios Chitzios1, Nikolaos Vrachnis2, Christiana Zafeirati1, Efstratios Asimakopoulos1

12nd University Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Hippokratio General Hospital, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece
22nd University Clinic of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Areteion Hospital, Athens, Greece

Correspondence: Dr. D. Chitzios, Anatolis 50, Elaiones, Pylaia, 55535, Thessaloniki, Greece, E – mail:


Worldwide, attention over iron deficiency anemia (IDA) in pregnancy has been recently shifted towards supplementation during pregnancy and ensuring that women, especially adolescents have adequate iron stores prior to conception. Many researchers claim that adolescent or adult women still need supplements during pregnancy in order to avoid IDA, even if iron stores are adequate. The possible relationship between IDA and increased risk of preterm delivery before the 37th week of gestation or low-birth weight infants and the impact on maternal and infant morbidity and mortality has been supported by several studies. Researchers have attempted to distinguish actual IDA from the normal influences of pregnancy, like associated hemodilution as gestation proceeds, from pathological causes, by studying pregnant women as early as possible in gestation. The following review focuses on studies, which aim to give new aspects regarding prevention of IDA and its complications before, during and after pregnancy.

Keywords: anemia, iron, dietary supplementations, pregnancy, maternal-fetal relations

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