Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 552746
Title Antenatal iron supplementation and birth weight in conditions of high exposure to infectious diseases
Author(s) Verhoef, Hans; Mwangi, Martin N.; Cerami, Carla; Prentice, Andrew M.
Source BMC Medicine 17 (2019). - ISSN 1741-7015
DOI https://doi.org/10.1186/s12916-019-1375-9
Department(s) Global Nutrition
Publication type Non-refereed article in scientific journal
Publication year 2019
Keyword(s) Anaemia - Birthweight - Iron - Malaria - Plasmodium - Pregnancy
Abstract

Background: A recent cohort study among Papua New Guinean women surprisingly showed iron deficiency during pregnancy to be associated with increased birth weight. These findings seemingly contradict previous trial evidence that iron supplementation leads to increased birth weight, particularly in iron-deficient women, and hence require explanation. Main text: We have re-analysed data from a previous trial in Kenya and demonstrated that, because women who were initially iron deficient respond better to iron supplementation, they show an increase in birthweight. There is evidence that this benefit is decreased in iron-replete women, possibly due to the adverse effects of haemoconcentration that can impair oxygen and nutrient transfer across the placenta. The Papua New Guinean results might be explained by a similar differential response to the iron supplements that they all received. Conclusions: Antenatal iron supplementation should ideally be administered in conjunction with measures to prevent, diagnose and treat malaria given the propensity of pathogenic microorganisms to proliferate in iron-supplemented individuals. However, even where services to prevent and treat malaria are poor, current evidence supports the conclusion that the benefits of universal iron supplementation outweigh its risks. Please see related article: https://bmcmedicine.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12916-018-1146-z. Please see related article: https://bmcmedicine.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12916-019-1376-8.

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