Nutritional anemia in pregnancy: a study at the maternity hospital, Kuala Lumpur

Malays J Reprod Health. 1984 Jun;2(1):32-50.


PIP: The study presents recent data on the prevalence and pattern of nutritional anemia in the Maternity Hospital, Kuala Lumpur. A total of 309 pregnant women in their 3rd trimester, of Malay, Chinese and Indian origin from the lower socio-economic strata were randomly selected for the study. Hematological indices (including Hb, PCV, MCHC, and TRBC), serum iron, transferrin saturation and ferritin, serum folate as well as protein and albumin were determined. Based on Hb and PCV values, 30-40% of the women could be considered anemic; approximately 50% of them presented with unsatisfactory serum iron, transferrin saturation and ferritin values; 60.9% had low serum folate levels; and about 30% may be considered to be of poor protein nutriture. Anemia in the study population was seen to be related mostly to iron and to a lesser extent, folate deficiency. Hematological, iron, folate and protein status was observed to be the poorest amongst the Indian women, better in the Malay group and generally the best amongst the Chinese women. Birth records of 169 of these women revealed that all of them had live births. Nearly all the infants were delivered by normal vaginal delivery (NVD). The mean gestational age was 38.6 weeks. One of the infants had a birth weight of 2.0 kg; incidence of low birth weight, 2.5 kg, was 8.3%. Although there was a trend of deteriorating hematological, iron and protein status of women from the 0, 1-3 and 4 parity groups, these differences were not statistically significant.

MeSH terms

  • Asia
  • Asia, Southeastern
  • Biology
  • Birth Weight
  • Blood Proteins
  • Blood*
  • Body Weight
  • Culture
  • Delivery of Health Care
  • Delivery, Obstetric
  • Demography
  • Developing Countries
  • Economics
  • Epidemiologic Methods*
  • Ethnicity*
  • Health
  • Health Facilities
  • Health Services
  • Hemoglobins*
  • Hospitals*
  • India
  • Infant, Low Birth Weight
  • Iron
  • Malaysia
  • Maternal Health Services
  • Maternal-Child Health Centers
  • Metals
  • Nutritional Physiological Phenomena*
  • Parity
  • Physiology
  • Population
  • Population Characteristics
  • Poverty*
  • Pregnancy Outcome*
  • Pregnancy Trimester, Third*
  • Pregnancy*
  • Prenatal Care*
  • Prevalence*
  • Primary Health Care
  • Proteins
  • Reproduction
  • Research
  • Research Design
  • Social Class*
  • Socioeconomic Factors


  • Blood Proteins
  • Hemoglobins
  • Metals
  • Proteins
  • Iron