Low compliance with the iron supplementation program among pregnant women in the rural areas of Kerman district, IR Iran

Nutrition Research

Volume 6 - Number

Article Type: ---- Unspecified ----

This study was carried out to determine the extent of pregnant women's compliance with iron supplementation program through Primary Health Care system. Anemia and iron status were assessed by measuring the concentration of hemoglobin and serum ferritin, respectively. Pregnant women's compliance with taking the iron pills was assessed through direct interview and was controlled using a qualitative test for detecting iron in stool. Prevalence of anemia was 13% whereas 35.7% of women were mildly and 20.8% were severely iron deficient. 81% of subjects reported taking their iron pills regularly but only 21% of them had positive stool iron results. Mean hemoglobin and serum ferritin concentrations in subjects who had positive stool tests were significantly higher than non-complying ones' (p < 0.01 and p < 0.001, respectively). It may be concluded that supplying pregnant women with iron tablets may not ensure the success of program in itself. Effective measures must therefore be taken to encourage the women to take their prophylactic pills. (C) 1998 Elsevier Science Inc.