Not all pregnant women need iron supplementation

October 1, 2007

Ferrous sulfate 50 mg daily in pregnant women with a hemoglobin (Hb) ≥13.2 g/dL significantly increased the rate of small-for-gestational-age births and the number of women with a hypertensive disorder, compared with a group of pregnant women receiving placebo (15.7% vs. 10.3%, respectively, P=0.035, and 2.7% vs. 0.8%, respectively, P=0.05).

Ferrous sulfate 50 mg daily in pregnant women with a hemoglobin (Hb) ≥13.2 g/dL significantly increased the rate of small-for-gestational-age births and the number of women with a hypertensive disorder, compared with a group of pregnant women receiving placebo (15.7% vs. 10.3%, respectively, P=0.035, and 2.7% vs. 0.8%, respectively, P=0.05).

The findings come from researchers in Iran who conducted a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial involving 727 expectant women. As an accompanying editorial points out, while routine iron supplementation is important in the developing world, it should be prescribed selectively for nonanemic women having normal pregnancies in the developed world.

Ziaei S, Norrozi M, Faghihzadeh S, et al. A randomized placebo-controlled trial to determine the effect of iron supplementation on pregnancy outcome in pregnant women with haemoglobin ≥ 13.2 g/dl. BJOG. 2007;114:684-688.