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406 DETERMINING A BASELINE HEMOGLOBIN LEVEL FOR THE PREGNANT WOMEN POPULATION IN NAMAKKAL DISTRICT, INDIA.
  1. A. Christopher1
  1. 1University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA

Abstract

Purpose of Study Anemia during pregnancy is an important risk factor that has been implicated in increased maternal morbidity and mortality in developing countries. In the Namakkal district of Tamil Nadu, India, the prevalence of anemia among pregnant women has not yet been determined. A survey was administered to determine a baseline hemoglobin level for the pregnant women population in Namakkal district government hospitals. This project was performed as a part of a larger study conducted by MGR Medical University in Chennai, India.

Methods Pregnant women visiting any of six government hospitals within Namakkal district were administered a survey to collect basic demographic information and assess risk factors for anemia. The survey included questions about patient age, education status, household income, pregnancy history, and personal medical history. As part of routine labwork, hemoglobin levels were measured using a cell counter. Analysis of data collected was performed using SPSS version 13.0 software.

Results The mean hemoglobin count among surveyed women was 10.52 g/dL. There was no significant difference in hemoglobin count between different reproductive age groups, educational groups, or parity and gravida groups. It was observed that a significant proportion of the population who seek perinatal care at the government hospitals fall within the lower range of education and income.

Conclusions The mean hemoglobin levels in Namakkal district fall within the range of normal values in India. Local programs providing nutritional counseling, and vitamin supplementation should be continued to maintain healthy hemoglobin levels within the pregnant women population. Individual and family education about health care and the importance of adequate nutrition during pregnancy are necessary to ensure proper maternal and child health.

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