Anemia and iron status of Malay women attending an antenatal clinic in Kubang Kerian, Kelantan, Malaysia.


The purpose of this study was to detect the frequency of iron deficiency anemia in women attending their first antenatal clinic at a Maternal and Child Health Clinic in Kubang Kerian, a district of Kelantan that is located on the East coast of Malaysia. A cross-sectional study was done over a two-month period and fifty-two Malay women were enrolled in this study. Red blood cell indices and serum ferritin were used as a screening tool for anemia and iron status. Eighteen patients (34.6%) were anemic. The majority were classified as having mild anemia (90%). Four of them had hypochromic microcytic anemia. Of 52 women, 7 had iron deficient erythropoiesis and 11 (61.1%) had iron deficient anemia. The prevalence of iron deficiency anemia in pregnant women was 21.2%, which is similar to other developing countries. The serum ferritin level was significantly associated with the hemoglobin level (p=0.003). Other red blood cell indices were not useful in predicting iron deficient erythropoiesis. It is important to detect iron deficient erythropoiesis during the first antenatal check-up, as it is an early manifestation of iron deficiency anemia. In conclusion, screening for iron deficient is recommended during first antenatal visit because iron deficiency anemia is still the leading cause of nutritional deficiency in pregnant women. This will initiate an early therapeutic intervention so as to reduce public health problem.

Cite this paper

@article{Hassan2005AnemiaAI, title={Anemia and iron status of Malay women attending an antenatal clinic in Kubang Kerian, Kelantan, Malaysia.}, author={Rosline Hassan and Wan Zaidah Abdullah and Nik Hazlina Nik Hussain}, journal={The Southeast Asian journal of tropical medicine and public health}, year={2005}, volume={36 5}, pages={1304-7} }