Maternal Anemia and Risk of Adverse Birth and Health Outcomes - Meta Analysis (February 2016)

Anemia is a leading cause of maternal deaths and adverse pregnancy outcomes in developing countries.  A systematic review and meta-analysis to estimate the pooled prevalence of anemia, the association between maternal anemia and pregnancy outcomes, and the population-attributable fraction (PAF) of these outcomes that are due to anemia in low- and middle-income countries. PubMed, EMBASE, CINAHL, and the British Nursing Index were searched from inception to May 2015 to identify cohort studies of the association between maternal anemia and pregnancy outcomes. Of 8182 articles reviewed, 29 studies were included in the systematic review, and 26 studies were included in the meta-analysis. Overall, 42.7% of women had anemia during pregnancy in low- and middle-income countries. Pregnant anemic women had 31% higher risk of low birth, 63%  higher risk of  preterm birth, a 51% higher risk of perinatal mortality and 172% higher risk of neonatal mortality ( 2 studies only). In low- and middle-income countries, 12% of low birth weight, 19% of preterm births, and 18% of perinatal mortality were attributable to maternal anemia.