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Category: Anemia and RBC disorders
Women often take iron supplements during pregnancy to avoid receiving a blood test indicating they have anemia, a common complication of pregnancy. However, new research indicates that most women may not need to take the supplements as frequently as previously thought.
In the study, a team of researchers from the World Health Organization analyzed the results of 18 previously published clinical trials that measured the effect of iron supplementation in pregnant women. The studies involved a total of 4,072 women.
The results showed that women who took iron supplements intermittently during their pregnancy - meaning one to three times per week - were just as likely to avoid anemia as those who took supplements every day. Furthermore, intermittent users had lower rates of complications of supplementation, including nausea and constipation.
"Intermittent iron supplementation could be considered as a feasible alternative to daily supplementation for preventing anemia during pregnancy," said lead researcher Juan Pablo Pena-Rosas.
The findings could help pregnant women understand their options for avoiding blood tests indicating the presence of anemia.
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