The Impact of Daily Iron Supplementation on Hemoglobin Levels of Pregnant Omani Women

Hekmat S.S. Al-Yaqoobi1*, Mostafa I. Waly1, Amanat Ali1, Nasser A. Al-Habsi1, Yahya M. Al-Farsi2

1Department of Food Science and Nutrition, 2Department of Family Medicine and Public Health, Sultan Qaboos University, Muscat, Oman


Iron deficiency anemia (IDA) during pregnancy is a public health problem in Oman. Although a national anemia control program provides daily iron supplementation for pregnant women through antenatal care services, yet the prevalence of IDA is increasing. Objectives: This study is aiming to evaluate the impact of daily iron supplementation on iron status of pregnant Omani women and to explore anemia-related perceptions among the enrolled study subjects. Subjects and Methods: A cross-sectional study approach included pregnant women visiting primary health care centers at Muscat city, Sultanate of Oman. The inclusion criteria were pregnant Omani nationals on their first trimester and have hemoglobin (Hb) level less than 11 g/dL. The efficacy of the iron supplementation was assessed by comparing the Hb levels of the study subjects at the time of enrollment with that by the end of pregnanc. Results: Fifty four study subjects were recruited on voluntary basis for this study; 42 were complied with the iron supplementation program meanwhile 12 were not complied with the iron supplementation. All study subjects were anemic and had a low daily dietary intake of iron. The iron supplemented group (n=42) had no improvement in their Hb levels by the end of pregnancy. The reasons of the failure of daily iron supplementation program for the enrolled study subjects were: poor compliance of taking the tablets as a daily dose, late start of the iron supplementation, misconceptions on the effect of iron supplementation, and inadequate motivation. Conclusion: Daily iron supplementation among the enrolled study subjects is not effective in improving their Hb levels. Poor adherence to the required daily dosage and wrong believe about iron supplementation were common among the majority of the enrolled study participants.

Key words:Anemia, Iron Supplementation, Pregnancy

Al-Yaqoobi HSS, Waly MI, Ali A, Al-Habsi NA, Al-Farsi YM. The Impact of Daily Iron Supplementation on Hemoglobin Levels of Pregnant Omani Women. Canad J ClinNutr 2015; 3 (1): 15-31