The risk factors for maternal anemia (hemoglobin level less than 110 g/L) were studied in human immunodeficiency virus–negative pregnant women in Benin at the time of first antenatal visit and prior to any prevention. Data for the first 1,005 pregnant women included in a multicentre randomized controlled trial were analyzed. Anemia was common (68.3%), and malaria and helminth infestations were prevalent in 15.2% and 11.1% of the women. A total of 33.3%, 31.3% and 3.6% of the women were iron, folic acid and vitamin B12 deficient, respectively. These parasitic infections and nutrient deficiencies were associated with a high risk of anemia. Twenty-one percent, 15%, 12%, 11% and 7% of anemia were attributable to malnutrition, malaria, iron, folic acid deficiencies, and helminth infestations, respectively. Most anemia was caused by factors that could be prevented by available tools, stressing the need to reinforce their implementation and to evaluate their effectiveness throughout the course of the pregnancy.
After service in the British SAS Regiment the author became a physician and then an orthopaedic surgeon.
He has held professorial positions in Canada, Vietnam and the United States, practiced and taught orthopaedic surgery in three continents and in several wars.
He has extensive experience as an expert witness in court. Somewhere along the way, time was found to operate a four hundred acre mixed farm, a one hundred seat restaurant and to obtain a licence as a flying instructor.
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