Maternal anemia and pregnancy outcomes: a population-based study

J Perinatol. 2019 Jul;39(7):911-919. doi: 10.1038/s41372-019-0375-0. Epub 2019 Apr 9.


Objective: This study aims to describe adverse maternal and neonatal outcomes in women diagnosed with anemia in pregnancy.

Study design: This was a retrospective cohort study of California live births from 2007-2012, linked to maternal and infant hospital discharge records. Relative risks of adverse maternal and neonatal outcomes were calculated for women with and without anemia.

Results: Anemic mothers were more likely to be diagnosed with hypertension, diabetes, placental abruption, or chorioamnionitis, or require a blood transfusion or admission to the intensive care unit (aRRs 1.2-6.8). Infants born to anemic mothers were more likely to be born preterm (8.9% versus 6.5%), but not more likely to suffer morbidities associated with prematurity.

Conclusion: In a population-based study, the diagnosis of anemia in pregnancy carries a higher risk of peri-partum, intra-partum, and post-partum complications for the mother, and a higher risk of preterm birth for the infant.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Anemia* / complications
  • Blood Transfusion / statistics & numerical data
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Newborn, Diseases / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Obstetric Labor Complications / epidemiology
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / epidemiology*
  • Pregnancy Complications, Hematologic*
  • Pregnancy Outcome*
  • Premature Birth / epidemiology*
  • Premature Birth / etiology
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Young Adult