Prevalence of anemia in pregnant women in Styria, Austria—a retrospective analysis of mother-child examinations 2006–2014

  • Background: Many women suffer from anemia during their pregnancy. Austria, a central European country, has an instituted mandatory prenatal care system and therein two anemia screening tests (before end of week 16 and in weeks 25-28) are scheduled. Epidemiological data on the prevalence of anemia in pregnant women in Austria are missing. Methods: We analysed data from Styria, an Austrian federal state, to determine the prevalence of anemia diagnosed in pregnant women aged 15-45 years with at least one examination in the first and second time period using the cut-off hemoglobin (Hb) concentration of 11 g/dl as recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO). Sensitivity analyses for cut-off values with 10.5 and 7 g/dl (severe anemia) were performed. The STROBE checklist was applied for this retrospective cohort study. Results: The study included anemia screening tests from 25,922 women during 31,429 pregnancies from 2006-2014. Anemia was diagnosed in either time period in 13.7% (95% confidence interval (CI) 13.4-14.1) of pregnancies, in the first time period in 2.2% (95% CI 2.0-2.2), and in the second time period in 13.0% (95% CI 12.6-13.4). The annual age-adjusted anemia prevalence showed no change over time. Reducing the cut-off value to 10.5 g/dl resulted in an anemia prevalence in either time period of 5.6% (95% CI 5.3-5.8). The pattern of a higher prevalence in the second time period remained unchanged. Severe anemia (Hb <7 g/dl) was diagnosed in four pregnancies (0.01%). Conclusion: The estimated anemia prevalence of around 14% in pregnant women in Styria (Austria) is stable over the observed time window (2006-2014) and almost all are diagnosed in the second test period (in weeks 25-28). It seems that in a developed country like Austria the first examination (before week 16) is not mandatory for pregnancy care. However, in other countries where a high prevalence of anemia is common due to risk factors such as malaria and HIV, early screening in pregnancy might be very important.

Download full text files

Export metadata

Author:Sereina Herzog, Gudrun Leikauf, Heidelinde Jakse, Andrea Siebenhofer-KroitzschORCiDGND, Martin Häusler, Andrea Berghold
Pubmed Id:
Parent Title (English):PLoS one
Place of publication:Lawrence, Kan.
Contributor(s):Samson Gebremedhin Gebreselassie
Document Type:Article
Year of Completion:2019
Date of first Publication:2019/07/25
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2019/07/29
Tag:Anemia; Austria; Global health; Hemoglobin; Iron deficiency; Iron deficiency anemia; Pregnancy; Screening guidelines
Issue:(7): e0219703
Page Number:10
First Page:1
Last Page:10
Copyright: © 2019 Herzog et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Institutes:Medizin / Medizin
Dewey Decimal Classification:6 Technik, Medizin, angewandte Wissenschaften / 61 Medizin und Gesundheit / 610 Medizin und Gesundheit
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - Namensnennung 4.0