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Predictors of Pregnancy and Postpartum Haemoglobin Concentrations in Low-Income Women


Bodnar, Lisa Marie; Siega-Riz, Anna Maria; Arab, Lenore; Chantala, Kim; & McDonald, Thaddeus L. (2004). Predictors of Pregnancy and Postpartum Haemoglobin Concentrations in Low-Income Women. Public Health Nutrition, 7(6), 701-711.


OBJECTIVE: Pregnancy and postpartum iron status is of great public health importance, yet few studies have examined predictors of haemoglobin (Hb) concentration during this time. We identified predictors of Hb from 24 weeks' gestation until delivery and from 4 to 25 weeks postpartum.
DESIGN: Blood was drawn as many as four times during care: at the initial visit, at 24-29 weeks' gestation, at delivery and postpartum. A longitudinal, multivariable linear regression model was used to predict Hb concentration.
SETTING: A public health clinic in Raleigh, North Carolina.Subjects: n=520 women who participated in the Iron Supplementation Study.
RESULTS: Hb concentration at the previous blood draw, short stature, non-Hispanic white ethnicity/race, >12 years of education and smoking were positive predictors of pregnancy and postpartum Hb concentrations. Iron supplement use was a positive predictor, while inadequate weight gain and severe nausea/vomiting were negative predictors of gestational Hb. A high infant birth weight and postpartum haemorrhage were negative predictors of postpartum Hb. Pre-pregnancy body mass index had a slight positive relationship with gestational Hb, but had a strong negative relationship with postpartum Hb. The longitudinal model also confirmed the typical pattern of gestational Hb concentration. As the number of weeks between the initial visit and the 24- to 29-week visit increased, Hb at 24-29 weeks' gestation decreased. As gestational age increased from 24 weeks until delivery, Hb concentration increased as well.
CONCLUSIONS: The predictors identified here could be used in clinical settings to target high-risk women for intervention.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

Public Health Nutrition


Bodnar, Lisa Marie
Siega-Riz, Anna Maria
Arab, Lenore
Chantala, Kim
McDonald, Thaddeus L.