Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Twice weekly iron supplementation to pregnant women as effective as a daily regime

Date:
June 19, 2013
Source:
Public Library of Science
Summary:
Daily supplementation of iron tablets to pregnant women does not provide any benefits in birth weight or improved infant growth compared to twice weekly supplementation, according to a new study.

Daily supplementation of iron tablets to pregnant women does not provide any benefits in birth weight or improved infant growth compared to twice weekly supplementation, according to a study by international researchers published in this week's PLOS Medicine.

Furthermore, twice weekly supplementation is linked to improved adherence rates in pregnant women and may also be linked to improved cognitive development in infants aged six months.

These findings are important as anemia -- a condition in which the blood does not supply the body with enough oxygen because of low levels of haemoglobin, the iron-containing pigment that enables red blood cells to carry oxygen -- is a widespread global health problem, with over 2 billion people thought to be affected, yet the side effects and costs of daily iron supplementation are challenges to treatment.

The researchers, led by Beverley Biggs from the University of Melbourne in Australia, reached these conclusions by conducting a cluster randomised controlled trial, in which pregnant women in a semi-rural region of Viet Nam were randomized to receive daily iron-folic acid supplementation (426 women), twice weekly iron-folic acid supplementation (425 women), or twice weekly iron-folic acid supplementation plus micronutrients (407 women).

The researchers (also the authors of this paper) found that birth weight was similar in all supplement groups, and there were also no differences in rates of prematurity, stillbirth, or early neonatal death. At six months, there were also no differences in the levels of infant hemoglobin, prevalence of anemia, or growth rates.

However, the authors found that infants born to mothers in the twice weekly iron-folic acid supplement group had improved cognitive development compared to infants born to mothers in the daily supplement group. Finally, the authors found that adherence rates were significantly higher in the twice weekly iron-folic acid supplement group compared to the once daily regime.

The authors say: "We have shown that twice weekly antenatal [iron-folic acid supplementation] or [multiple micronutrient supplementation] in an area of Southeast Asia with low anemia prevalence did not produce a clinically important difference in birth weight or infant growth outcomes, compared to daily antenatal [iron-folic acid supplementation]."

They continue: "Our finding of a significant improvement in infant cognitive outcome at 6 months of age following twice weekly antenatal [iron-folic acid supplementation] requires further exploration, and provides additional support for the use of intermittent over daily antenatal [iron-folic acid supplementation] regimes in populations with low rates of iron deficiency."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Public Library of Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Sarah Hanieh, Tran T. Ha, Julie A. Simpson, Gerard J. Casey, Nguyen C. Khuong, Dang D. Thoang, Tran T. Thuy, Sant-Rayn Pasricha, Thach D. Tran, Tran Tuan, Terence Dwyer, Jane Fisher, Beverley-Ann Biggs. The Effect of Intermittent Antenatal Iron Supplementation on Maternal and Infant Outcomes in Rural Viet Nam: A Cluster Randomised Trial. PLoS Medicine, 2013; 10 (6): e1001470 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pmed.1001470

Cite This Page:

Public Library of Science. "Twice weekly iron supplementation to pregnant women as effective as a daily regime." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 June 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130619101605.htm>.
Public Library of Science. (2013, June 19). Twice weekly iron supplementation to pregnant women as effective as a daily regime. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130619101605.htm
Public Library of Science. "Twice weekly iron supplementation to pregnant women as effective as a daily regime." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130619101605.htm (accessed September 2, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Get on Your Bike! London Cycling Popularity Soars Despite Danger

Get on Your Bike! London Cycling Popularity Soars Despite Danger

AFP (Sep. 1, 2014) Wedged between buses, lorries and cars, cycling in London isn't for the faint hearted. Nevertheless the number of people choosing to bike in the British capital has doubled over the past 15 years. Duration: 02:27 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can You Train Your Brain To Eat Healthy?

Can You Train Your Brain To Eat Healthy?

Newsy (Sep. 1, 2014) New research says if you condition yourself to eat healthy foods, eventually you'll crave them instead of junk food. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) A new study suggests 100 percent of adult humans (those over 18 years of age) have Demodex mites living in their faces. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Liberia Continues Fight Against Ebola

Liberia Continues Fight Against Ebola

AFP (Aug. 30, 2014) Authorities in Liberia try to stem the spread of the Ebola epidemic by raising awareness and setting up sanitation units for people to wash their hands. Duration: 00:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins