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A Comparative Study of Plasma Trace Elements (Copper, Iron and Zinc) Status in Anaemic and Non-anaemic Pregnant Women in Abakaliki, Nigeria

Author(s): Emmanuel I. Ugwuja | Boniface N. Ejikeme | Nicholas C. Ugwu | Onyechi Obidoa

Journal: Online Journal of Health & Allied Sciences
ISSN 0972-5997

Volume: 10;
Issue: 2;
Date: 2011;
Original page

Keywords: Anaemia | Pregnancy | Copper | Iron | Zinc | Abakaliki | Nigeria

For a comparative study of plasma copper, iron and zinc between anaemic and non-anaemic pregnant women, data for anaemic (n = 223) and non-anaemic (n = 126) pregnant women drawn from a cohort of 351 pregnant Nigerians recruited at gestational age of ≤ 25 weeks for the study of impacts of trace element status on pregnancy outcomes were analysed. With the exception of plasma copper which was significantly (p < 0.05) higher in anaemic women in comparison to the non-anaemic women (10.11 ± 10.15 vs. 8.68 ± 7.92 µmol/l), plasma iron and zinc were lower (p > 0.05) in the former. While plasma copper, iron and zinc concentration were not correlated with maternal haemoglobin concentration, plasma zinc significantly correlated negatively (r = -0.141, p < 0.05) with plasma copper. It is thus concluded that anaemia in pregnant women in this population may partly be due to a combination of trace element deficiencies and their interactions with each other. While interventions should go beyond improving intakes, more research is desired to clearly define these interactions.
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