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16.05.2019 | original article Open Access

How many women take oral supplementation in pregnancy in Austria?

Who recommended it? A cross-sectional study

Zeitschrift:
Wiener klinische Wochenschrift
Autoren:
Ulrike Spary-Kainz, Thomas Semlitsch, Sophie Rundel, Alexander Avian, Sereina Herzog, Heidelinde Jakse, Andrea Siebenhofer
Wichtige Hinweise

Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (https://​doi.​org/​10.​1007/​s00508-019-1502-9) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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Summary

Background

Iron deficiency anemia is common in pregnancy with a prevalence of approximately 16% in Austria; however, international guideline recommendations on screening and subsequent treatment with iron preparations are inconsistent. The aim of this study was to find out how often pregnant women take iron-containing supplements, and who recommended them. As hemoglobin data were available for a sub-group of women, hemoglobin status during pregnancy and associated consumption of iron-containing medications were also recorded.

Methods

This cross-sectional study was conducted at the Mother-Child-Booklet service center of the Styrian Health Insurance Fund in Graz, Austria. A questionnaire containing seven questions was developed. Absolute and relative numbers were determined, and corresponding 95% confidence intervals calculated using bootstrapping techniques.

Results

A total of 325 women completed the questionnaire, 11% had been diagnosed with anemia before becoming pregnant, 67% reported taking iron-containing compounds. The women reported taking 45 different products but 61% took 1 of 3 different supplements. Overall, 185 (57%) women had not been diagnosed with anemia before becoming pregnant but reported taking an iron-containing supplement and 89% of the women took supplements on the recommendation of their physician. Of the 202 women whose hemoglobin status was assessed, 92% were found not to be anemic.

Conclusion

Overall, 67% of pregnant women took iron-containing compounds, irrespective of whether they were deficient in iron. Physicians were generally responsible for advising them to take them. No standardized procedure is available on which to base the decision whether to take iron during pregnancy, even in guidelines. As most guidelines only recommend taking iron supplements in cases of anemia, the high percentage of women taking them in Austria is incomprehensible.

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Zusatzmaterial
Supplemental table 1: Percentage of anemia at the first and second blood measurement. Supplemental table 2: Costs during pregnancy for the three most popular products
508_2019_1502_MOESM1_ESM.docx
Supplemental Table 2
508_2019_1502_MOESM2_ESM.docx
Literatur
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