Consequences of iron deficiency and anemia during pregnancy

Considerable work has been done to understand the functional consequences of iron deficiency and anemia during pregnancy for both maternal and infant outcomes [18-20]. The conceptual framework that shows the potential pathways by which iron deficiency during pregnancy may influence subsequent outcomes is shown in Fig. 22.4. However, most of the research has been conducted in developed country settings, where the problem is less severe and therefore less likely to detect any effects. Another hurdle in conducting well-designed studies that examine the consequences of iron deficiency during pregnancy is the inability to include a control group that does not receive prenatal iron supplements given the current WHO recommendations for universal supplementation [3]. A brief review of current knowledge on this topic is provided in this section.

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