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Iron status in pregnant women in the Republic of Seychelles

  • Emeir M Duffy (a1), Maxine P Bonham (a1), Julie MW Wallace (a1), Chin-Kuo Chang (a1), Paula J Robson (a1), Gary J Myers (a2), Philip W Davidson (a2), Thomas W Clarkson (a3), Conrad F Shamlaye (a4) and JJ Strain (a1)...

To establish the Fe status of pregnant women and their neonates in the Republic of Seychelles.


A prospective study.


Republic of Seychelles.


Pregnant women were recruited and blood samples taken at enrolment and post-delivery along with cord blood samples. Ferritin and soluble transferrin receptor (sTfR) were measured in maternal (n 220) and cord blood (n 123) samples.


Maternal Fe deficiency (ferritin < 15 ng/ml, sTfR > 28 nmol/l) was present in 6 % of subjects at enrolment and in 20 % at delivery. There was no significant decrease in maternal ferritin. A significant increase in sTfR was observed between enrolment and delivery (P < 0·001). Maternal BMI and use of Fe supplements at 28 weeks’ gestation were associated with improved maternal Fe status at delivery, whereas parity had a negative effect on sTfR and ferritin at delivery.


Fe status of pregnant Seychellois women was, on average, within normal ranges. The incidence of Fe deficiency throughout pregnancy in this population was similar to that in a Westernised population. Increased awareness of the importance of adequate Fe intake during pregnancy, particularly in multiparous women, is warranted.

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